MasterChef judges will remain 'package deal' for next project

Alicia Vrajlal
Entertainment Editor
MasterChef judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston could strike a deal with Netflix. Photo: Channel Ten

Less than 24 hours after it was announced they’d be leaving MasterChef Australia, it seems judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris have their eyes on a lucrative plan B.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the three stars recently formed their own production company called GGM Pty Ltd.

Now being able to sell themselves as a ‘package deal’, it’s been said the household names are eyeing off a deal with popular streaming service, Netflix.

While there’s been no official word from Matt, Garry or George about their next big plan, they’ve all taken to social media to explain why they decided to leave the franchise after 11 years.

“What a journey what an experience,” Gary wrote in a post alongside a photo of the three judges. “It was time to move on, have more free time to explore our own creativity.

“It was never about the money and never will be about the money. We couldn’t agree on the term of the new contract for 2020 and season 12. Something we felt very strongly about.”

Network Ten’s chief executive officer Paul Anderson, said in a statement, “Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George.

“Australia is full of remarkable cooking talent and we can’t wait to introduce another group – and the next generation of exceptional judges – in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”

It’s understood the decision is separate to embattled judge George’s recent underpayment saga, and according to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, the trio were after a 40 per cent pay increase.

Earlier this week, George was found to have underpaid staff by more than $7.83 million across his restaurant empire, which led to calls from former workers and unions for the star to be dropped from the popular reality show.

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