Andrew O'Keefe hits back at Seven's 'illness' claim

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Andrew O'Keefe has refuted claims from Seven that his health delayed The Chase shooting. Photo: Seven

Seven’s stars seem to have dropped the filter this week, with Andrew O’Keefe the latest host to publically refute the network.

After Seven claimed The Chase host’s health was behind the decision to delay filming on hit quiz show The Chase, Andrew this morning denied the claim, saying it came as a ‘surprise’.

Last week The Herald Sun reported the series was due to start filming in February but had been delayed because of the host’s mental health, as per a statement from the network.

“Andrew O’Keefe is taking time to manage and recover from a health issue,” Channel Seven’s statement to the paper was at the time.

Andrew O'Keefe insists he is fit and ready for filming. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew O’Keefe however, says he is fit and ready for filming.

“These things happen, and it came as a bit of a surprise to me as I'm fit and ready to film,” he told TV BlackBox of the blame placed on his health.

He says though he has openly struggled with mental health concerns in the past, it has not been a concern of late and certainly didn’t delay filming.

“I'm not in the least ashamed to admit I've struggled at times over the last year with issues around my mental health, but thanks to the excellent support of friends, family and expert clinical practitioners, I'm in a very good place at the moment,” he told the site.

No punches pulled over Seven’s position

Axed Jason Hodges told Yahoo Lifestyle he 'didn't see' the decision coming. Photo: Nine

Seven has been battling against a steady stream of bad news in recent weeks, most recently watching MKR’s rating flounder, losing to SBS’s Great Australian Railway Journeys on its third night.

The latest awkward blunder from Seven comes after axed Better Homes and Gardens star Jason Hodges told Yahoo Lifestyle ‘the good guy came last’ when he was suddenly cut after two decades.

Similarly, Jessica Marais announced she was pulling out of the Packed to the Rafters reboot this morning, citing health reasons.

In another kick on an already-tricky morning for the network, another star also took a very public swing at ‘some people’ within the network’s decision making this morning.

One MKR judge slammed the network this morning. Photo: Seven

Discussing the show‘s struggling ratings this morning, MKR judge Colin Fassnidge placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Channel Seven and ‘stupid decisions’ made post-production.

The Irish-born chef pulled no punches while chatting with 2GB’s Chris Smith on Monday, admitting that while this season is the ‘best ever’ it’s been sabotaged by Seven’s programming choices.

“This year was the best one we’ve done but not everyone’s watching it, at the moment, cause we’ve got some people in Channel 7 who don’t know how to program a show,” he said.

It’s not just stars of the network voicing dissent either, earlier this month irate fans slammed the network over their decision to cut Jason Hodges from the Better Home and Gardens lineup after 20 years.

Channel Seven has been contacted for comment.

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