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Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman CBE FSA (born 16 September 1950) is an American-British television presenter, gastronome and musician who has mainly worked in the United Kingdom. He is best known for presenting the BBC TV show MasterChef from 1990 to 2000, also fronting the children's version from 1995 until 1999. He is also well known for being the co-presenter of the BBC & ITV show Through the Keyhole from 1987 until 2003, visiting homes of many UK and US celebrities. He also fronted the TV-AM documentary Storm in an Egg Cup: The History of TV-AM in late 1992.

Loyd Grossman

Loyd Grossman opens Pulse FM student radio station, 1999.jpg
Grossman in 1999
Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman

(1950-09-16) 16 September 1950 (age 68)
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Deborah Jane Puttnam
(m. 1985; div. 2004)


Early life and educationEdit

Grossman was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on 16 September 1950, the son of David K. Grossman and Helen Katherine (née Gilman).[1] His initial education was at the General John Glover School in Marblehead,[2] and then at Marblehead High School.[1] He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in history before traveling to the United Kingdom in 1975 to study at the London School of Economics, where he received a master's degree in economic history. He later returned to university at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he studied history of art, receiving both a master's degree and a PhD.[1]



Loyd Grossman playing guitar on stage

Grossman has a continuing career as a singer initially with punk band Jet Bronx And The Forbidden, who reached number 49 in the UK singles chart in December 1977 with "Ain't Doin' Nothing". He returned to playing music in 2008. Following a guest appearance playing "Ain't Doin Nothin" with the Pork Dukes at the Vienna Rebellion punk festival on 27 April 2008, he played with his new band Jet Bronx and the New Forbidden at the 2008 Rebellion Festival in Blackpool and at Glastonbury in 2012 and 2014.[citation needed]

Restaurant criticEdit

Grossman was a restaurant reviewer for Harpers & Queen[3] and The Sunday Times.

Television careerEdit

Grossman's television début came in April 1987, as a roving presenter for Through the Keyhole, a programme examining the homes of the famous. Before leaving in 2003, Grossman made almost 400 appearances on the programme. Other programmes include the History of British Sculpture (2003),[4] and cookery show Step up to the Plate (2008).[5]

Grossman won an edition of BBC's Celebrity Mastermind on 27 December 2009. His specialist subject was 18th Century art and artists.

Other gastronomic workEdit

From 1995 Premier Foods have produced the Loyd Grossman sauces brand of cooking sauces under licence.[6]

In 2000, he was appointed to head the £40 million project to improve the quality of food served in British NHS hospitals and visited the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in December 2002 to raise awareness of the Better Hospital Foods project.[7]

Heritage and the artsEdit

Grossman's lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage has involved him in a number of organisations. He is a former Commissioner of the Museums and Galleries Commission, a former Commissioner of English Heritage (where he was Chairman of the Museums Advisory Committee and the Blue Plaques Panel), a former Commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, a founding member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, past Chairman of the National Museums Liverpool and of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. He founded the 24 Hour Museum (now Culture24) and was its Chairman until 2005.

Grossman is Patron of the Association for Heritage Interpretation, Patron of Heritage Open Days, Patron of the Haslemere Educational Museum, Patron of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and Patron of the American Museum in Britain. He is President of NADFAS, President of the British Association of Friends of Museums and a Fellow of St Deiniol's Library. He was Chairman of the University for the Creative Arts from 2008 to 2012, a member of the Court of Governors of the LSE from 1996 to 2009 and is now an Emeritus Governor of the LSE. He was formerly Deputy Chair of the Prince's Drawing School. He is a Member of the Council of the British School at Rome, a member of the board of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Governor of the Building Crafts College.

In 2007, Grossman was appointed Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust; and in 2009 he was appointed Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, the UK membership organisation that represents more than 100 leading non-governmental organisations across the heritage sector. In 2015 he was re-elected for an unprecedented third term as HA Chair.

He is a member of the Court of Assistants of the Company of Arts Scholars, an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.[1]

Other activitiesEdit

Grossman was also a Patron of the Cavell Nurses' Trust. He was Patron of Latymer Sub-Aqua Club for People with Disabilities from 1995 until its demise in 2013.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Grossman married Deborah Puttnam, the daughter of the film producer David Puttnam, in 1985 and they had two daughters. The couple divorced in 2004.[9][10] His interests include scuba diving (in which he is a PADI-qualified Divemaster), tennis, chess, fishing and music. He is also a fan of the Boston Red Sox.[1] He is a member of a few private members' clubs, The Hurlingham Club and the Chelsea Arts Club.[1]

His Mid-Atlantic accent reflects his Boston origins as well as the many years he has spent in the UK. It is often the subject of parody including in adverts for his own sauces, where home cooks imitate his speech as they use sauces that are promoted as having a "distinctive voice."[11]

Awards and honoursEdit

In 1996, Grossman was awarded a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award for his involvement in the MasterChef television series.[1] Grossman was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Birthday Honours for services to patient care, especially hospital catering and was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 Birthday Honours for services to heritage.[1][12][13] On 9 November 2007, he became an Honorary Graduand of the University of Chester where he was presented for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. He was granted armorial bearings by letters patent of the College of Arms on 5 March 2004.[14] In 2011 the University of Lincoln awarded him an honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of his contribution to the cultural heritage sector.[1]

In popular cultureEdit

In 1995, Grossman was parodied in the BBC comedy The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer featuring a sketch based on the Masterchef programme. Vic Reeves comedically portrays Grossman with a huge bulbous head floating around the studio to the sound of bells, judging the contestants' catering efforts.[citation needed]


  • The Social History of Rock Music (1975)
  • Harpers and Queen Guide to London's 100 Best Restaurants (1987)
  • The Dog's Tale (1993)
  • Loyd Grossman's Italian Journey (1994)
  • Courvoisier's Book of the Best (1994–96) - as editor
  • The World on a Plate (1997)
  • The 125 Best Recipes Ever (1998)
  • Foodstuff (2002)


Coat of arms of Loyd Grossman
(on a Helm with a Wreath Or and Azure): A Polar Bear sejant Argent gorged with a plain Collar attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back Or.
Azure issuing from the sinister chief three Piles wavy each per bend sinister wavy Argent and Or.

Grossman was granted arms in 2004.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "GROSSMAN, Loyd Daniel Gilman". Who's Who. 2018 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Loyd Grossman". TES Magazine. TES. 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Varsity Profile: Loyd Grossman". Varsity. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Loyd Grossman appointed to the Churches Conservation Trust". Prime Minister's Office. 29 June 2007. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Step up to the Plate". Food News. Press & Journal. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  6. ^ "lovefood meets... Loyd Grossman by Andrew Webb". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Loyd Grossman goes on the wards". BBC News. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  8. ^ Roger Green, Chairman LSACfPwD
  9. ^ "The £35 million sauce in Loyd's bank". The Observer. 14 August 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Deborah Jane Puttnam". The Peerage.
  11. ^ Stecklow, Steve (4 October 2003). "That's just so, like, totally... spiffing". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  12. ^ "No. 56963". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2003. p. 11.
  13. ^ "No. 61256". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2015. p. B9.
  14. ^ "The Arms, Crest and Badge of Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman". College of Arms. 5 March 2004. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  15. ^

External linksEdit