BBC MasterChef’s Michel Roux Jr shares reason for show exit: ‘My integrity was challenged’

Michel Roux Jr has opened up about the real reason he left BBC Two’s MasterChef: The Professionals in 2014. The Michelin-starred chef, who owned London’s iconic Le Gavroche restaurant until it closed this January after 56 years, admitted his decision was a matter of “integrity”.

Speaking to Kate Thorne on her White Wine Question Time podcast, Michel opened up about the difficult choice to walk away from the popular BBC show. As they chatted, Kate said: “You left MasterChef because they wanted you to give up a commercial partnership that was supporting a family-run business that supplied and had supplied you with potatoes for as long as you can remember at Le Gavroche, and you said no.”

Michel then confirmed: “The Bartlett family are family friends, and Ronnie Bartlett’s dad was a friend of my dad. Yes, there’s a little bit of money that comes my way for being one of their brand ambassadors, but it’s still family and friends.

“I certainly didn’t want to break that little bit of work that I do for them, but most importantly, that friendship,” he continued. “So I basically said to the BBC, ‘I’m not going back on this, and too bad so I’m walking off’.”

The chef then added: “That whole sequence with the BBC was challenging my integrity and that’s why I moved on.”

Michel was a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals alongside his sous-chef Monica Galetti.

Gregg Wallace, who judges the main MasterChef series on BBC One alongside John Torode, has also served as a judge on the show.

When Michel left the show due to “a conflict in commercial interests” in 2014, he was replaced by Marcus Wareing.

After announcing she was leaving the show in 2022, Monica was replaced by Anna Haugh.

However, Monica announced her triumphant return to the series in 2023, appearing on the programme later that year.

Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time is available to listen to on all podcast platforms.

 

 

 

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