There’s Ant and Dec, there’s Laurel and Hardy, and there’s Gregg Wallace and John Torode.
MasterChef’s double act may not quite deserve their names mentioned in the same breath as the greatest TV duos of all time, but the on-screen partnership between Wallace and Torode has been solid for 16 years. .
Despite being born in London, Gregg revealed in an interview with KentLive that he was a Kent man through and through, previously living in Whitstable before moving to Biddenden in search of more privacy.
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John was born a little further than Gregg, in Melbourne, but moved to the UK in his mid-twenties.
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Today Gregg and John are the mainstays of TV cooking judgment, but despite their friendly on-screen appearances, their relationship is much more complex than that.
Ahead of Celebrity Masterchef’s return on August 9, John spoke to Radio Times magazine this week about his collaboration with Gregg.
He said: “We have known each other for 30 years, but we lead separate lives.
“At no point did we transform into each other, which means there will always be a little thrill here and there.
“It’s not a bad thing, there is an energy with that tension, which is useful.
“You never know for sure what the other will think of a dish.”
Although John alluded to some sort of tension between him at Gregg, the two have gotten along really well throughout their careers.
The two met in the early 1990s, when John had just arrived in the UK.
He worked in London restaurant Quaglino’s as a sous chef and the restaurant’s vegetables were supplied by none other than Gregg Wallace himself.
They got to know each other pretty well over the years, and John was even a witness to Gregg’s wedding.
Gregg told the Sunday Post: “John was the witness of my marriage and I’m not really any closer to anyone else.
“Where this is an unusual relationship – and it most certainly is – is because we’re so friendly on TV, people think it’s faking it or we’re close outside of work. .
“We don’t see each other outside of work, but we are close at work seven months a year.”
Being given such an important position on one of the biggest days in Gregg’s life, it’s clear the duo have a lot of respect for each other.
However, their “unusual” relationship includes the fact that the two have never even been to each other.
John told the Sunday Mirror in 2017: “Funny, we’ve never been friends.
“We didn’t go to the other’s house… He’s so OCD he wouldn’t know what to do.
“He would build it in his head for three days and probably make himself very sick, then he would argue with his wife and not show up.
“If I went to his place, he would feel like he had no control.”
It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for Gregg and John’s decades but, whatever happens offscreen, they certainly stay strong when the cameras roll.
Celebrity MasterChef starts Monday August 9 at 9 p.m. on BBC One.