TV

Matt Preston breaks silence over MasterChef judge exit

Opening up with a "heavy heart" he said he didn't want to take the "take gloss off the winner".

Matt Preston has broken his silence on the news that all three MasterChef judges will not be returning to the hit reality cooking show next season.

WATCH: MasterChef urged to sack George Calombaris

The judge and chef said he was confirming the mass exodus with “a heavy heart” because he along with Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris could not agree to a new contract. The Sydney Morning Herald claims that the trio – each on salaries in excess of $1 million – walked after 10 refused to up their pay by more than 40 per cent.

Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris have all left MasterChef
Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris have all left MasterChef (Credit: Getty)

“Thank you so very much for supporting MasterChef Australia over the last 11 years. We have loved every single moment,” Matt wrote on his Facebook page.

“It is however with a heavy heart that I can confirm that season 11 was our last.

“We were really keen to continue but we were unable to agree to all terms for the new contract.

“We have enjoyed 11 wonderful years on Masterchef Australia with Network Ten, and I want to take this opportunity to thank Ten for this amazing opportunity and for Network Ten’s backing of this very special show.

“We have met some beautiful people, discovered and guided some of the brightest up-and-comers in the Australian food scene, worked with the best chefs in the world in front of the camera, and with the TV industry’s finest professionals behind the scenes. And of course, we three judges have formed a lifelong friendship that will live on far beyond the show.”

EXCLUSIVE: Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone and Poh Ling Yeow revealed as new MasterChef judges
EXCLUSIVE: Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone and Poh Ling Yeow revealed as new MasterChef judges (Credit: Getty)

Matt continued: “I want to take this opportunity to thank you and everyone who has shared our amazing journey with us – especially all those fantastic contestants. I look forward to sharing many more adventures with you in the future.

“And finally I wish the new judges all the best with the show that we love so much.

“I don’t want to take any gloss off tonight’s well deserved winner so I will not be making any further comment.”

The news came after New Idea exclusively revealed that Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone, and Poh Ling Yeow are set to take over hosting duties.

Scandal has rocked George after the Fair Work Commission fined him $200,000 for underpaying 515 staff to the tune of $7.83million between 2011 and 2017. 

Staff have been repaid but the scandal lingers, with George not only out of his WA tourism gig, but now out of TV as well.

Meanwhile, MasterChef has named Larissa Takchi its 2019 winner, snatching the prize from finalists Simon Toohey and Tessa Boersma.

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