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Chef Dan Doherty Quits BBC Series Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation [Updated]

The chef will not rejoin Mary Berry on series two of Britain’s Best Home Cook

TV chef Dan Doherty, far right, will not take part in series two of ‘Britain’s Best Home Cook’
BBC/Twitter

Updated: 17:33, 28.01.19 with a statement from the BBC.

Updated: 15:12, 28.01.19 with a statement from Rhubarb, with whom Doherty was consulting on a forthcoming New York City restaurant opening, and a further apology from Doherty himself.

TV chef and author, Dan Doherty, who was reportedly the subject of sexual harassment allegations at his restaurant, the Royal Oak in Marylebone, has announced that he will leave the BBC show, Britain’s Best Home Cook. Allegations concerning Doherty’s misconduct were revealed yesterday following an investigation by the Sunday Times. It has also been confirmed that Doherty’s partners in a New York City restaurant opening have “severed ties” with chef.

This lunchtime, the chef announced on Twitter that he had “decided to step away” from series two of the show in which he co-stars as a judge with ex-Great British Bake Off presenter, Mary Berry.

He said:

In the wake of the recent newspaper reports, I’ve decided to step away from series two of Britain’s Best Home Cook. I loved my experience of working on the show and wish it every continued success.

A spokesperson for the BBC said the broadcaster would appoint a new judge for the show.

“We’ll be appointing a new judge for Britain’s Best Home Cook to join the rest of the line-up. We’re looking forward to a new series which will be back on air in 2020,” it said.

A statement from Rhubarb, the hospitality company partnering with Doherty on a planned New York City restaurant opening this year, have “severed ties with the chef.” A spokesperson for Rhubarb shared the following statement with Eater:

Premium hospitality group Rhubarb has announced that the company has officially severed its ties with Chef Dan Doherty, who was consulting on the brand’s forthcoming NYC restaurant project.

P.B. Jacobse, CEO, Rhubarb, said: “We have decided to end our consultancy agreement with Dan Doherty in view of the allegations of improprieties made against Mr. Doherty.”

Doherty is accused of requesting oral sex from a female junior member of staff, telling staff members that he would like to see them without their chef’s whites on, and, per the Sunday Times, “fostering a culture of harassment at the Royal Oak.”

This afternoon, Doherty added a further apology on Twitter.

An investigation by an external HR company was carried out in November, during which time it is reported that Doherty was “forced” to leave his restaurant. Following the investigation, he returned to work — his role changed from head chef to executive head chef. It is believed to have been created to reduce his interaction with junior members of staff.

Two former employees allege that Doherty’s conduct resulted in the departure of four members of staff last year.

Earlier this morning, Eater contacted the BBC’s press office asking whether Sunday’s reports would affect the airing of any episodes already filmed and / or if it would impact his place among the judges when and if the show is recommissioned. The BBC did not immediately return a request for comment.

More soon.

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