Getting the host of The Rachael Ray Show (check local listings, ABC) to stop talking and answer questions isn't easy, but we managed to get Ray to tell us about her series' second season, her new projects and those pesky tabloids.
TV Guide: What's new on your syndicated show?
Rachael Ray: We have "The Human Lab" segment, where we let viewers test-drive fashion, beauty products and gadgets. Lara Spencer (The Insider) has a weekly segment, "The Dish," about everything from celebrities to green products. We also have a "So You Think You Can Cook" competition for home cooks. We'll send the winner to cooking school and then they'll be better than Rachael Ray!
TV Guide: Aren't you a little less hyper lately?
Ray: I don't shout as much because I have very little voice left. I should be very, very quiet for three weeks to fix my strained vocal cords, but I don't have time.
TV Guide: Which leads to — what else is going on?
Ray: I'm very focused on the Yum-o! organization. We're partnered with President Clinton's Alliance for a Healthier Generation to help families learn about nutrition, to eradicate hunger in America and to give scholarships to kids to train in food service.
TV Guide: No new books?
Ray: There's Just in Time, about 60-minute meals, coming out in November. And I'm working on The Yum-o! Family Handbook with healthy recipes from kids involved in the organization. All profits go to Yum-o!
TV Guide: How has being a TV star changed your life?
Ray: I never was in the tabloids before! But we laugh at that in the family. They said John [Cusimano] and I were getting divorced just at the time he was making me margaritas on the only weekend we had off all summer long. It's kind of flattering. You must be helping them sell papers or they wouldn't write about you.
Watch some Rachael Ray clips in our Online Video Guide.
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