Jock Zonfrillo: Channel 10 issues major MasterChef Australia announcement
The MasterChef judge passed away suddenly on Monday morning.
Following Jock Zonfrillo's shock passing in the early hours of Monday morning, the same day MasterChef season 15 was meant to air, many fans have been wondering when the cooking show will return to screens.
On Monday, Ten announced MasterChef will not be airing this week, however, a TV insider has revealed to Yahoo Lifestyle the show will premiere its latest season on Sunday at 7:30pm with the wishes of his wife, Lauren Fried, who wants the show to be a celebration of his life, especially given it's his last time on air.
Ten has shared a statement this evening which reads: "With the full support of Jock Zonfrillo's family, MasterChef Australia will air at 7:30pm on Sunday, 7 May. MasterChef Australia Judge Jock Zonfrillo took great pride in challenging and coaching the contestants and of course inspiring a nation of home cooks.
"It is with Jock in our hearts that we cherish this season and remember the charismatic and big-hearted Judge and Chef who we knew and loved. Jock will be remembered in the MasterChef Australia kitchen for years to come.
"A special edition of The Sunday Project will pay tribute to Jock from 6:30pm on Sunday, 7 May.
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"With contributions from friends he held closely, the show will honour Jock by reflecting on his personal and professional life in a celebration of his incredible achievements."
The new season of the show has been highly anticipated, with guest judge Jamie Oliver sharing a promo post for the premiere on Monday before finding out the heartbreaking news.
Jock had also shared a post about the show ahead of his passing, sharing his excitement for the premiere.
Alongside a photo of an excited Jamie, Jock wrote: "The time has come for @masterchefau to kick off a new season filled with Secrets & Surprises! And @jamieoliver of course!"
His family confirmed his death in an Instagram post on Monday afternoon, asking the public to please give them space to “grieve privately”.
The new season of MasterChef Australia will premiere this Sunday May 7 at 7:30pm with the full support of Jock Zonfrillo's family. pic.twitter.com/D7AyfKbQSB
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) May 3, 2023
“With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,” they wrote.
“So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words. For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky.
“We implore you to please let us grieve privately as we find a way to navigate through this and find space on the other side to celebrate our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
Jock's surprise overseas move three weeks before his death
It comes after it was revealed Jock, Lauren and their two children Alfie, five, and Isla, two, had moved to Italy three weeks ago, ditching their Melbourne townhouse to live a new dream life.
Entertainment journalist Peter Ford took to Twitter on Tuesday evening, revealing, "Jock had actually moved to Rome to live. Was to have been an exciting new chapter for the family."
The MasterChef star is also father to two adult children from previous marriages, Ava and Sophia, however, they were not with Jock in Italy.
Jock had flown to Melbourne on his own to do press for the upcoming season of the show when he was sadly found dead at a hotel after police were called to perform a welfare check.
It is believed that Jock's wife and youngest children arrived in Australia on Tuesday night.
One of Jock's neighbours told Seven News, "He left about three weeks ago. Obviously he’s come back and who knows what happened."
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