Gregg's back for more
Gregg Wallace bounced back onto screens again this
week for another series of Masterchef: The Professionals, on BBC2.
The former greengrocer spoke to Kate Whiting.
It’s hard to imagine Gregg Wallace ever feeling down about
A man with one of the broadest smiles on TV, who describes
desserts as “like a cuddle on a spoon,” his career seems to be
going from strength to strength.
The Seasalter-based presenter is currently filming the new
series of MasterChef, while MasterChef: The Professionals returned
for a fifth series this week.
“I’m a workaholic,” admits the former greengrocer, as sheepishly
as you might admit to an alcohol problem.
“I certainly don’t look on this ambition that I’ve got as a
gift, I look on it as a curse. My day normally starts at 6am and
finishes at 10 or 11pm at night. I fill my life up with work,
there’s always a project on the go.”
On the personal front, he admits it’s been a tough year. In
March, he split from third wife Heidi after just over a year of
Their relationship had started out as a fairytale: the young
teacher from Cumbria who had contacted him via Twitter had soon
been accepted by his teenage children Tom and Libby (from his
second marriage) and they were a happy family. But it wasn’t to
“I’m really good at work but I’m absolutely hopeless at
relationships,” says Gregg, 48, who also hit the headlines when he
was fined for driving his Jaguar XK at 82mph in a 50mph limit in
“I think (being a workaholic) is part of it but I also do
believe I’ve been terribly unlucky.”
He turns to his Masterchef co-presenter John Torode for advice –
their relationship has spanned 20 years – and he will be reuniting
with Torode’s fellow chefs Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti on the
new series of Masterchef: The Professionals.
When he hasn’t been filming one of the many MasterChef spin-offs
this year, Gregg has been busy writing his autobiography, Life On A
Written in his bubbly, easygoing style, it charts a surprisingly
tough childhood. Brought up in a two-up, two-down in Peckham, south
London with his parents and grandparents, Gregg reveals he’s never
recovered from being wrenched apart from his doting grandad when
his mother left to live with a man who he was to discover was his
“When my parents’ marriage broke up and I was my moved away
from my grandad, that had a disastrous effect on me,” he says. “It
left me with real issues that I’ve never come to terms with.”
Having earned himself a place at a prestigious school in London,
Gregg started acting up and left at just 14.
The book also charts how, at the age of eight, Wallace was
sexually abused by the husband of his childminder. It was Heidi who
encouraged him to write about the incident.
However, there are a few rays of light in his life – he’s dating
27-year-old model Cara Franco, who understands his love of family
and with whom he spends every weekend. “We’re planning to spend
part of Christmas together,” he adds.
Masterchef: The Professionals is on BBC2 from Monday to
Thursday. Life On A Plate: The Autobiography by Gregg Wallace,
published by Orion Books, priced £18.99.
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