Masterchef Dark side of the show
Matt and George make headlines for the wrong reasons What made our celeb chefs snap?
For Masterchef viewers, the appeal of the series lies in its family friendly format, talented contestants and supportive judging panel.
But fans were shocked to discover the dark side of the Network Ten program last week, with two of the show’s lovable judges, Matt Preston and George Calombaris, sparking controversy.
While other reality shows make for drama-filled viewing, when it comes to Masterchef Australia, it seems the action takes place after the cameras stop rolling.
The nightmare began to unfold when former Masterchef judge Marco Pierre White, 55 – who has previously had an entire week of the show dedicated to his visits – revealed Matt was the reason he defected to rival network Seven.
The furious Michelin star chef, who is currently filming Hell’s Kitchen Australia, revealed he quit the show after Matt made what he called “disgraceful” comments about his son Marco Jnr during the 22-year-old’s stint on Celebrity Big Brother UK last year.
In an interview with KIIS FM’S Kyle and Jackie O, Matt suggested Marco Jnr – who caused an outcry for allegedly having sex on BB – was “off the rails”, lived off his father’s fortune and took drugs.
“Any dad would feel whenever your kid goes off the rails the first thing is, ‘What could I have done better?’ I think Marco is no different,” Matt said at the time.
Marco says he’ll “never forgive” his former co-star for the remarks about his son. “On my mother’s grave I will get him,” he vented during an interview last week.
Marco Jnr later took to Twitter to brand Matt a “fat f**k” and threatened to “slap him up” – but apologised the next day.
Matt accepted, telling The Daily Telegraph, “I wholeheartedly accept Marco Pierre White Jnr’s apology and I’m sorry for any hurt I may have unintentionally caused him and his family.”
There was even more trouble right around the corner. Matt, 53, found himself at the centre of yet another scandal as he and fellow judge George, 38, attended the A-league football final in Sydney.
George has now been charged with assault after allegedly shoving a fan in the stands over taunts he made about the chef underpaying his staff (it was revealed last month that 200 of George’s employees had been short-changed $2.6m).
He quickly apologised but claimed the fan had abused his family. “I’m really disappointed with what occurred last night,” he said. “I regret the way I reacted, I’m disappointed I let it get to me and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone. While I’m not proud of my reaction, I was offended by a spectator yelling abusive comments about my family.”
Now some fear the judges’ controversial off-camera antics could tarnish the reputation of the popular and uplifting show.
‘I’ll never forgive him… On my mother’s grave I will get him’
The chef’s altercation last week was captured on camera.
Marco says he left Masterchef because of Matt’s comments.