Gregg Wallace works so hard because he's 'terrified of poverty'

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Gregg Wallace, despite having a healthy bank balance, says he's terrified of being poor (Image: Getty Images)
Gregg Wallace, despite having a healthy bank balance, says he's terrified of being poor (Image: Getty Images)

With a net worth estimated at £3.9 million, you’d think Gregg Wallace would be happy to slow down a bit and enjoy the fruits of his labour. However, speaking on White Wine Question Time, the Masterchef star revealed his fear of being poor keeps him working.

“I just want financial security,” he explained to host Kate Thornton.

“Unless I'm working all this time, I just don't feel like I'm working hard enough. I'm a security addict – that's why I carry on working.”

Wallace, who had previous companies that went into administration, said it’s something that stems from his past.

Listen: Gregg Wallace talks about how, after three divorces, he knew his wife Anna was the one!

“I've chatted to the therapist about this,” he revealed.

“There are two things. One is going from a nice big house and flash cars to nothing. And the other one is how poor I was starting up – and both of those things are what haunts me and that's what drives me on.”

Read more: Mystery as contestant edited out of MasterChef: The Professionals

Wallace says his wife of four years, Anna, doesn’t share his view and would be happy if he worked less, so they could have more time together, but he says that won’t be happening in the near future.

Gregg Wallace, who has been appeared on Masterchef with John Torrode since 2005, says he'll carry on working until he feels secure (Image: Getty Images)
Gregg Wallace, who has been appeared on Masterchef with John Torrode since 2005, says he'll carry on working until he feels secure (Image: Getty Images)

“I'm just terrified of poverty – absolutely terrified,” he confessed.

This terror struck hard at the beginning of lockdown in March, when the former greengrocer, saw his work drying up.

Watch: Masterchef judges explain why they caused an international incident on GMB

Read more: Gregg Wallace: I used to start drinking at 10am

“I flew into a bit of a panic and was suffering real anxiety, so much so that I had like anxiety rashes coming out on my legs,” he told Thornton.

He continued: “I've always worked – to not be able to work set me into a blind panic. However, when I realised, I had enough money to last me until a good 10 months, I started to relax and then bits of work started coming in and then I really got in the swing of it and really, really enjoyed it.

“I loved it. I've got a baby boy. My eldest daughter's here. My in-laws are here. I've got two little dogs and a little bit of land and I had such a nice time.”

The star, who says he doesn’t want yachts or fancy holiday homes, admits he’s not quite ready to give up work just yet.

Read more: Gregg Wallace: I lost weight because my wife didn't want a 'fat old husband'

“I look forward to taking it a little bit easier,” he said. “I just don't feel like I've got enough money to relax yet.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Gregg Wallace attends the Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 15, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
Gregg Wallace and wife Anna attend the Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 15, 2014. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

During lockdown, after going on a health kick, Wallace created his own subscription service to help others do the same, with wife Anna and his daughter Libby helping him to run it.

Hear Gregg Wallace talk about why he loves living with his in-laws on this week’s episode on White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.

Watch: Gregg Wallace talk about the age gap between himself and his wife

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