As Masterchef is back for a 13th series on Wednesday, Gregg Wallace and John Torode team up once again to put a bunch of amateur cooks through their paces to see who will be crowned Masterchef. The pair has fronted the show since 2005, and has formed such a close bond, John was even best man at Gregg's wedding last year! To mark the return of the cookery competition show, we found out a few things about Gregg Wallace you may not know...
LONDON BORN AND BRED
Gregg Wallace was born in Peckham, south east London on 17 October 1964. He’s been married four times and has two children Tom and Libby with his second wife, Denise. He now lives in Whitstable on the Kent Coast with his wife Anne-Marie, 21 years his junior, who he met on Twitter in 2013.
HE KNOWS HIS ONIONS
He used to be a greengrocer, and began his career at Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market after leaving school at the age of 14. In 1989 he started George Allan’s Greengrocers, that built up to an annual turnover of £7.5million – that’s a lot of spuds!
Gregg Wallace was the original presenter of Saturday Kitchen when it began on BBC1 in 2002. He stayed on the show until he was replaced by Anthony Worrall Thompson in 2003.
MASTER OF MASTERCHEF
MILLWALL ‘TIL HE DIES!
Gregg Wallace loves his sports, and is a lifelong Millwall Football Club supporter – he even has a Millwall tattoo on his chest. He has also gained 2 rugby union coaching badges.
HITTING A BAD NOTE!
In 2007 he appeared in BBC1’s Just the Two of Us where he was paired with singer Carol Decker from Eighties pop band T’Pau to perform a song — she described him as a ‘singing potato’! They were the first to be eliminated after singing the Jackson Five’s Blame it On the Boogie.
THE WRITE WAY TO DO IT
In 2012 Gregg Wallace published his autobiography Life on a Plate. He’s also written various cookery books and has written articles for national and trade press.
TWO LEFT FEET
Gregg sparkled in sequins in Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, when he partnered Aliona Vilani. But his Charleston failed to impress and he left the show in the second week after the first public vote.
Gregg opened two restaurants, Wallace & Co in Putney in south west London and Gregg’s Bar and Grill in Bermondsey in south east London, but they struggled to thrive and Gregg was sadly forced to close both of them in 2014.
Masterchef co-presenter John Torode was best man at his wedding to Anne-Marie Strepini at Hever Castle in Kent in August last year. “There’s no part of my life John isn’t aware of,’ says Gregg. “He’s seen me through the good, the bad and the ugly and has always been there for me, so it was a very easy choice to make.”
In 2015, Gregg was one of the presenters on Inside the Factory, a BBC show that looks into how all kinds of foods such as beans, sweets and crisps are manufactured on a large scale.
Gregg Wallace and co-presenter, Chris Bavin, have shown numerous families how to save money on their monthly shop by swapping expensive products for own brands, while learning how to cook tasty meals, on BBC1’s popular Eat Well For Less since 2013. Kerching!
MasterChef is back on Wednesday, 29, March, 8pm