Plagued by negative headlines the show has been thrown into turmoil as Channel 10 announces all three judges have failed to reach an agreement with the network for season 12 in 2020
AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NETWORK 10.
Network 10 today announced that Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris will not return as judges in the next season of MasterChef Australia.
Network 10 chief executive officer Paul Anderson said:
“Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George.
“Across 11 sensational seasons, MasterChef Australia has established itself as one of the most popular and respected cooking television series around the world. For more than a decade, the iconic series has shaped and driven the Australian public’s passion for food and cooking, delivered iconic television moments, and made the culinary dreams of everyday home cooks come true.
“We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years,” he said.
“MasterChef Australia has always been about ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things for the love of food and we believe it is very important to continue that ethos
“Australia is full of remarkable cooking talent and we can’t wait to introduce another group – and the next generation of exceptional judges – in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”
It comes as a massive blow to 10, who with production company Shine Australia, reinvented the original format with Matt, Gary and George at the helm. The Australian version has since become the exemplar for other territory iterations and is itself exported and screened in multiple countries, including India, Pakistan, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Controversy has dogged Calombaris recently over his company’s gross under-payment of staff. Last week the Fair Work Ombudsman fined Calombaris and MAdE Establishment $200,000 after it was revealed they had short paid over 500 staff to the tune of $7.83 million. He had also been filmed verbally abusing someone in the crowd and pushing them at a soccer match in Melbourne.
It will be a difficult task for 10 and Shine to re-cast the host/judge roles as they’ve are synonymous with the program. The BBC has struggled with once dominant format Top Gear since their very famous hosting team left and it is this fate MasterChef Australia faces should the same be attempted.