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Gregg Allan Wallace (born 17 October 1964)[1] is an English media personality, presenter, writer, and former grocer, known for co-presenting MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals on BBC One and BBC Two. He has jokingly referred to himself as "just the fat, bald bloke on MasterChef who likes pudding".[2] He has written regularly for Good Food, Now and Olive magazines.

Gregg Wallace
Gregg Wallace Masterchef Live 2010.jpg
Wallace judging at "MasterChef Live" in 2010
Born
Gregg Allan Wallace

(1964-10-17) 17 October 1964 (age 54)
Peckham, London, England
NationalityBritish
OccupationBroadcaster, writer, entrepreneur, historian, media personality, television presenter
Years active2002–present
EmployerBBC
Home townWhitstable, Kent, England
Television
Spouse(s)
  • Christine
    (m. 1991; div. 1991)
  • Denise
    (m. 1999; div. 2004)
  • Heidi
    (m. 2011; div. 2012)
  • Anne Marie (m. 2016)
Websitegreggwallace.com

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Wallace was born in Peckham, London, in 1964.[3]

Business careerEdit

Wallace began his career selling vegetables at a stand in Covent Garden. He was later told that setting up a business might be a good idea. In 1989, he started George Allan's Greengrocers, a company that built up to an eventual turnover of £7.5 million.[4] In 2010, Wallace opened the restaurant Wallace & Co in the London district of Putney, where he served as one of the directors. In 2012, he opened Gregg's Bar & Grill in a joint venture with the Bermondsey Square Hotel in Bermondsey Square. In August 2013, it was reported that one of Wallace's companies, West Veg Limited, had folded, owing more than £500,000.[5] In 2014, both of his restaurants folded, with Wallace & Co owing suppliers £150,000.[6]

Television careerEdit

 
Wallace (right) with John Torode at MasterChef Live in 2009

Based on his business success, Wallace was invited to co-present Veg Talk on BBC Radio 4 with Charlie Hicks. The programme was successful - it aired for seven years.

Wallace was the original presenter of Saturday Kitchen from 2002 until being replaced by Antony Worrall Thompson in 2003.[7] Wallace also presented Veg Out for the Discovery Channel, and Follow That Tomato for The Food Channel, resulting in a Royal Television Society award for Best Lifestyle Programme in 2003.

In 2008 and 2009, Wallace presented two editions of The Money Programme on the effect that the current financial crisis is having on the public's attitudes towards food.[8][9] In August 2013, Wallace presented Supermarket Secrets, a BBC One programme about supermarket food sourcing and distribution, and in September 2013, he co-presented Harvest 2013, a three-part documentary following the progress of Britain's vegetable, cereal and fruit harvests.

Since 2013, Wallace has co-presented Eat Well for Less?, a factual BBC series alongside Chris Bavin and since 2015, he has co-presented Inside the Factory alongside Cherry Healey and Ruth Goodman for BBC Two.

In 2016, Wallace was the presenter of a revived series of the BBC historical game show Time Commanders, appearing alongside the likes of historians Mike Loades and Dr Lynette Nusbacher.

MasterChefEdit

Since 2005, Wallace has been co-presenter and judge of BBC cooking show MasterChef, with John Torode. On the show, Wallace is renowned for his charismatic presenting style and impassioned facial expressions.[10]

He was the main voice in the 2013 YouTube hit video "Buttery Biscuit Base", formally known as "MasterChef Synesthesia", in which his voice was taken from a number of episodes of MasterChef and used to create a song. Since its upload, the original video by Swedemason has garnered over 10 million views.

In March 2018, Wallace refused to judge Zaleha Kadir Olpin's dish on MasterChef, claiming that the stewed "chicken rendang" dish was "not crispy enough and could not be eaten".[11] This remark caused a significant media and public backlash in some prominent members of the ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei, who claimed that redang is a "stewed, soft and tender dish: not intended to be crispy".[12]

Guest appearancesEdit

In 2007, Wallace appeared in the BBC singing contest Just the Two of Us where he partnered with professional singer Carol Decker. The duo were the first to be eliminated.

In 2010, Wallace appeared as one of the historical experts in the BBC One series Turn Back Time: The High Street with Tom Herbert and Juliet Gardiner.

On 27 January 2012, he appeared in an episode of Room 101 on BBC One.

In August 2012, Wallace was the subject of an edition of the BBC One's Who Do You Think You Are? celebrity genealogical programme.[13]

In 2014, Wallace appeared as a guest panellist on the BBC Two programme An Extra Slice.[14]

Strictly Come DancingEdit

In September 2014 Wallace was a contestant on the twelfth series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with professional Aliona Vilani. In the first week Wallace danced a Cha-cha-cha to Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold". During the judges' comments, Wallace joked about the lack of success shown by Craig Revel Horwood in a previous series of Celebrity Masterchef. He left the show in the second week, after the first public vote, when the Waltz danced by Jennifer Gibney and Tristan MacManus was preferred by the judges to Vilani and Wallace's Charleston.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Wallace has been married four times and divorced three times. His first wife Christine left him after just six weeks of marriage in 1991. Wallace has two children from his second marriage to Denise, a former pastry chef, in 1999. The couple separated in 2004 and Wallace won full custody of their children. Wallace met his third wife Heidi in 2009 and the couple married in 2010. They separated after 15 months of marriage, and later divorced.

Wallace met Anne-Marie Sterpini, 21 years his junior, on Twitter in 2013 and they married in August 2016. Masterchef co-host John Torode served as best man at the wedding at Hever Castle, Kent. Sterpini gave birth to their first child, Sid, in May 2019. Wallace publicly expressed his fears of being an "old parent" but said that he wouldn't mind the idea of having more children.[16][citation needed]

In 2013 Wallace underwent a weight loss programme after being told that his cholesterol level was dangerously high and that he risked a heart attack. Wallace lost 3 stone (42 lb; 19 kg) after being approached by WeightWatchers.[citation needed]

BibliographyEdit

  • Veg: The Greengrocer's Cookbook. Mitchell Beazley. 2006. ISBN 9781845332242
  • A Cook's Year: How to Choose and Cook with Great Ingredients. Mitchell Beazley. 2008. ISBN 9781845333270
  • Veg: The Cookbook. Octopus Publishing Group. 2009. ISBN 9781845334536
  • Gregg's Favourite Puddings. Octopus Publishing Group. 2010. ISBN 9780600621430
  • Great British Food Revival: The Revolution Continues: 16 Celebrated Chefs Create Mouth-watering Recipes with the UK's Finest Ingredients. Orion Publishing Group. 2011. ISBN 9780297867678
  • Life on a Plate: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Group. 2014. ISBN 9781409139218
  • Gregg's Italian Family Cookbook. Octopus Books. 2019. ISBN 9781784725914

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Independent – 5 minute interview". The Independent. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008.
  2. ^ Manenti, Kyla (21 January 2011). "Gregg Wallace: the bald, fat bloke on Masterchef". iVillage. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Biography". greggwallace.com. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Gregg Wallace – Personally Speaking Bureau". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. ^ Huffington Post Archived 30 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Financial Mail on Sunday Archived 5 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ BBC – Food – TV and radio Archived 14 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Lueck, Marianne (20 November 2008). "Pinch helps discount supermarkets". BBC News. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  9. ^ Farnham, Jacqui (29 June 2009). "Recession bites into eating habits". BBC News. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012.
  10. ^ https://metro.co.uk/2016/11/08/masterchef-the-professionals-fans-distracted-by-shouting-and-face-pulling-gregg-wallace-as-show-returns-6244866/
  11. ^ Malaysians roast MasterChef over chicken rendang elimination, BBC News, retrieved 11 Jun 2018.
  12. ^ Four Nations Unite Against Masterchef UK Judge over Rendangate, The Star Online, 3 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Gregg Wallace". BBC. 22 August 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  14. ^ "The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on BBC2 tonight with Jo Brand, Gregg Wallace, Paul Rankin & Roisin Conaty". Scunthorpe Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014.
  15. ^ Dowell, Ben (5 October 2014). "ctly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace is first celebrity to leave the show". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  16. ^ Nolan, C (8 August 2016) Anne-Marie and Greg's wedding Archived 20 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit