Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace and John Torode on why the Bake Off judges have an easier job

The presenting duo also talk why they'd do I'm a Celebrity and what Bear Grylls is forgetting

John Torode and Gregg Wallace on MasterChef

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