You’ve been one of TV’s biggest double acts for nearly 15 years. But do you ever watch TV together?
GREGG: Never. We hardly spend any time together outside work, but we text and call all the time.
JOHN: I live in Muswell Hill in London and he lives in Kent, but we spend more time together than most married couples. I see inside his ear, I know what aftershave he wears! We respect each other, and we have completely different opinions about politics, literature, art, music, food…
G: That’s why it works. John wants me to have my own opinion – once he’s given it to me!
What do you enjoy watching?
G: I don’t have sofa time like everyone else. If I want to watch TV – and I try to watch two hours a week – I diarise it. I’m up at 6am and my bedtime is 8pm – I diarise everything. I like documentaries and rugby repeats.
J: You can see how much fun he is! I grew up with rubbish television in Australia, so I’m good on junk. I love things like Border Control, Ice Road Truckers or, “He was obese once and it’s taken him 12 months to lose weight…” TV’s there to entertain, and I like weird stuff when I’m trying to switch off. Or comedy, like Live at the Apollo.
Do you like dramas?
J: Lisa [Faulkner, his partner] loves them. But I watch the first one and then I’m done – I want something new! Except for Orange Is the New Black and Breaking Bad. I do love Netflix.
G: I’m not even sure what Netflix is. If there were no young people in my house, I wouldn’t be able to turn things on! I did download the box set of Wolf Hall recently, though.
What makes you turn off?
J: People trying to sell their house, or what’s in their attic. Who gives a damn? They’re just boring!
G: I hate all the history channels that only show Hitler.
Do you watch food channels?
G: Is there a food channel?
J: We’re on them all the time, Gregg!
Do you ever think you could do a show better?
G: History programmes. I don’t like academics doing them – it’s like they’re doing adverts for their book. History is only stories; I would tell it like I’m talking about two blokes in the pub! Or Bear Grylls. For all his SAS training, at least I would remember to bring a packed lunch! I wouldn’t want to judge Bake Off. Their job’s easier than ours because they only taste one kind of food.
Would you appear on reality TV?
J: The one I might consider – when I’m old – is I’m a Celebrity… You eat beans and rice for a couple of weeks, lose a few pounds, and then you get a holiday in Australia. A few
bugs and testicles? Have you seen what we’ve eaten on MasterChef ?
G: I’d do that if it paid enough of the mortgage off.
Who is your favourite person to watch TV with?
G: Nobody! I want my wife Anna [Anne-Marie Sterpini] next to me, but it’s not a joint activity. And I’m invariably watching in a hotel room or in a cab. Unless I’m watching rugby with my mother-in-law.
J: That must be the only time we agree on anything – I want the remote control to myself!
What do you eat while you watch?
J: I don’t eat on my sofa. It’s not allowed. Never, ever, ever. The last thing I want to hear is chewing.
G: You have a telly in your lounge, John? How common! I like chocolate. I’ll snack on two or three Quality Streets.
MasterChef: the Finals is on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday BBC1