Firm run by MasterChef host Gregg Wallace collapsed with debts of more than £500,000
A company part-owned by MasterChef star Gregg Wallace went bust with debts of more than £500,000, it was revealed today.
West Veg Ltd collapsed in March owing £77,839 to NatWest bank, £143,591 to the tax man and more than £170,000 to other creditors.
While some employees made redundant claim they are still owed thousands in wages and holiday pay, Wallace is still raking it in from his two London eateries, BBC deal and advertising contracts.
Masterchef host Gregg Wallace
But the scale of the financial trouble – outlined in documents lodged at Companies House – have dealt yet another blow to the image of the former market trader, who lives in Foxdene Road, Whitstable.
He hit the headlines last week after he was involved in a brawl at a £75-a-head dinner event, reportedly punching diner Paul Bates, 55, after accusing him of groping his girlfriend Anne-Marie Sterpini, 27.
But it is not Wallace’s first taste of business failure, as in 2002 he put greengrocery George Allans into receivership - despite it once having an annual turnover of £7.5 million.
He set up West Veg the same year with best friend Vernon Mascarenhas, enjoying a 45% stake.
It traded under the name Secretts Direct and sold produce from a Surrey farm owned by businessman Charles Secrett.
Mr Secrett, 66, told The Sun his firm was owed £46,374 by West Veg.
A spokesman for 48-year-old Wallace blamed the firm’s collapse on “catastrophic farming conditions” but said every attempt had been made to rescue it.
He added the majority of staff were paid what they were owed by the government’s statutory redundancy scheme.
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