Former MasterChef judge's shocking admission about the new series

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·2-min read

He was one of three original judges who made MasterChef Australia a roaring success all over the world but Matt Preston hasn’t even watched one episode of this year’s Back To Win series.

The food critic, alongside George Colombaris and Gary Mehigan, was sensationally axed from the cooking reality show in July last year after 11 years at the helm.

Speaking on Nova 96.9’s Fitzy & Wippa show this morning, Matt admitted he hasn’t tuned in to see how new judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen are getting on in the kitchen but also insisted there’s no hard feelings there.

Matt Preston, George Colombaris and Gary Mehigan
Matt Preston has admitted he hasn't watched a minute of the new season of the show. Photo: Channel 10
Matt Preston on MasterChef
Matt was a judge on the show for 11 years. Photo: Instagram/Matt Preston

No I haven’t. But I’m really happy. You know what it is, you might move across but you still love all the people you work with there at Nova,” Matt started.

“You want them to do well, especially with TV production. MasterChef employs what 120 people down in Melbourne? It’s really important that those people have a job. If MasterChef had been a dog then those people would have lost their job. And I’m in the beautiful position of being an old man who’s got a new job which is unbelievable!”

Matt, Gary and George were axed from the highly-successful show in July 2019, and just a few months later it was announced that Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen would be taking over the judging panel.

In July last year, the 57-year-old food critic said he stumbled upon the news of his axing while in a car on the way to a radio interview, which he admits was a massive blow.

Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo on MasterChef 2020
Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo are now judges on the hit reality show. Photo: Channel 10

“It would probably have felt worse if I was by myself, but the fact I was with one of the publicists with Ten who had no idea and who was just aghast by the situation, especially about to go and do a national radio show, it was a bit of a shock,” he said on ABC radio.

According to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald at the time, the trio were after a 40 per cent pay increase.

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

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