My Kitchen Rules' Pete Evans reacts to his replacement Nigella Lawson

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Former My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans has broken his silence following the news that international star Nigella Lawson will be replacing him on the show in 2022.

Channel Seven announced on Sunday that the British food writer and TV cook would be joining Manu Feildel, who has hosted and judged the reality TV cooking competition since its inception in 2010, for the series’ 12th season.

My Kitchen Rules' Nigella Lawson and Manu Feildel.
Nigella Lawson has been announced as Pete Evans’ replacement on My Kitchen Rules. Photo: Channel Seven

Former MasterChef judge Matt Preston is also set to make an appearance on MKR this year, while fellow celebrity chefs Colin Fassnidge and Curtis Stone will return in guest roles.

Pete Evans was sensationally dropped by Channel Seven in 2020 following poor TV ratings and mass criticism for spreading vaccine misinformation.

The 48-year-old had promoted a conspiracy theorist’s video claiming that coronavirus both did not exist and was caused by 5G antenna installations.

He was also fined $25,000 from the Therapeutic Goods Administration after spruiking a $15,000 light machine as a potential coronavirus treatment.

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Due to the fact that both his Facebook and Instagram pages have been removed for “COVID-19 misinformation breaches”, Pete took to Telegram over the weekend to respond to the latest MKR casting news.

“I wish Channel Seven, the crew and my dear mate Manu all the very best on their upcoming series,” he wrote, adding a red love heart emoji next to his former co-star’s name.

“I will always cherish the many years we spent together, creating so many wonderful memories.”

My Kitchen Rules' Pete Evans.
Pete said he will always cherish the ‘wonderful memories’ he had on the show. Photo: Channel Seven

‘I can’t wait!’

Nigella, who has been a much-loved guest judge on several previous seasons of MasterChef Australia over the years, also shared a statement following the announcement.

“Going to restaurants can be a treat, but for me, the true story of food is told through the cooking we do at home,” she said.

“So, to have the chance to champion home cooks and be given the intimate privilege of being invited into people’s homes to eat their food fills me with gratitude and excitement in equal measure!

“I’m so looking forward to working with Manu too. Although he’s a chef and I’m a home cook, the fact is we both just want to eat good food. I feel I’ve got a lot to learn from him, but just know we’ll have a lot of fun in the process. I can't wait!”

My Kitchen Rules' Nigella Lawson.
Nigella said she ‘can’t wait’ to join My Kitchen Rules for season 12. Photo: Channel Seven

‘The perfect team’

Manu also said in a statement that he was “very excited” to be returning to the series and “even more thrilled” to have Nigella by his side.

“As MKR judges, we make the perfect team with our years of experience in professional and home kitchens respectively,” he said. “And as lovers of delicious food and a fabulous dinner party, I can promise you we’re also going to have a lot of fun. Bring it on!”

While My Kitchen Rules was at one stage the highest-rated reality TV competition in the country with over two million people tuning in each week, the past few seasons had a much lower viewership.

Channel Seven has promised that season 12 will see the program return to its roots and have a stronger focus on cooking rather than drama.

“The new season of MKR takes the much-loved show back to the original recipe – real people from all over the country, cooking real food in their own homes for the superstar judges and their fellow contestants,” the network said in a statement.

The series is set to return later this year on Channel Seven after a brief hiatus.

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