Ajay Rochester slams The Biggest Loser production in resurfaced interview
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Ajay Rochester slams The Biggest Loser production in resurfaced interview

Ten years is a long time in television. Or is it?

Former The Biggest Loser host Ajay Rochester is rumoured to be returning to Network 10 a decade after being unceremoniously dumped by the commercial broadcaster.

Rumours are swirling that she is due to try her luck as a contestant on this year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! If true, boy would she have some stories to tell.

Case in point: On Friday, former Studio 10 producer Rob McKnight unearthed a four-year-old podcast interview in which Rochester slammed the way The Biggest Loser was made.

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"I had an earpiece and was told what to say," the former host told the Green Guide Letters podcast back in 2014. "I hated the scripts. I had a line I fought every year to remove, which was, 'It's time to cut the fat.' It was when they [the contestants] were all about to be eliminated. They never let me not say it."

But that wasn't the juiciest behind-the-scenes goss Rochester had to share. She later spoke about everything from alleged drug-taking to the way she thought producers were making her bully contestants on-camera.

At one point, she went as far as to suggest one contestant used so much cocaine and dehydrated himself so much that when he showed up for a final weigh-in he looked "deathly ill".

Ajay Rochester is best known in Australia for hosting the first few seasons of The Biggest Loser.

Ajay Rochester is best known in Australia for hosting the first few seasons of The Biggest Loser.

"Just say someone who cared about the show went to producers and said, 'Look, I don't know whether we should have people who are into "demons" stepping on the stage,'" she said. "And maybe that person would be told, 'We don't want to know. We just want a good winner.' I went, 'Why don't we drug test all of them?' And they said, 'You can't ask questions ... put your earpiece in and say what you're told.'"

In the interview, which didn't garner a whole lot of attention at the time, Rochester also claimed producers caught a contestant's sister smuggling tea tree oil onto set.

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"Bottles and bottles of it," she said. "People use that to throw up and clean their system out. It's rotten. It's poison. [But] it wasn't in the rules and they couldn't take it away from him.

"Here's the irony of Biggest Loser. We've got all these contestants and we're trying to tell them to change their lives and help them lose all this weight. Then we give them an immunity challenge where they have 30 minutes to eat up to 150 liquor chocolates. I mean, seriously. There's nothing we didn't do."

Network 10 has remained – for the most part – tight-lipped about who will be sent into the South African jungle (or should we say grassland?) this year.

However, it did offer fans of the reality show a shiny clue earlier in the week that many believe all but confirms Rochester's return to Australian TV screens: "This attention-grabbing host is no stranger to controversy and is a huge hit with the tabloids."

Other people thought to be in the running for Sunday's big reveal include politicians Jacqui Lambie and Sam Dastyari, Survivor Australia host Jonathan LaPaglia and gossip reporter Richard Reid.

Former Gogglebox stars Angie Kent and Yvie Jones have already been confirmed as contestants on this year's show.

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Starts on Sunday, January 13 at 7.30pm on Network 10. 

Broede Carmody is an entertainment reporter at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

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