John Torode addresses 'tension' with 'Masterchef' co-star Gregg Wallace

Celebrity MasterChef 2018 lineup of 20 announced
John Torode and Gregg Wallace for 'MasterChef' (BBC)

Celebrity MasterChef’s John Torode has opened up on his ‘tension’ with co-host Gregg Wallace after admitting they’re not really friends.

Despite a 30-year working relationship, the duo has made no secret of the fact that they are not close off-screen. In fact, unless they’re in the studio, they barely see each other.

Read more: John Torode: TV cooking can be too complicated

But while their unlikely partnership isn’t exactly the close bond of Ant and Dec, Torode, 56, says he’s fine with things the way that they are.

Speaking to Radio Times, he said: “‘We lead separate lives. At no stage have we morphed into each other, which means there’s always going to be a little frisson here and there.”

MasterChef's John Torode and Gregg Wallace insist their camaraderie is on camera only. (Getty Images)
John Torode and Gregg Wallace have known each other for 30 years(Getty Images)

Ultimately, he thinks it works out for them when it comes to their time as MasterChef judges.

“It’s no bad thing; there’s an energy with that tension, which is useful,” he said.

“We never know for sure what the other will think about a dish.”

Read more: Gregg Wallace was warned he would have heart attack if he didn't lose weight

Torode and Wallace have been fronting MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef together for the past 17 years.

Watch: Celebrity MasterChef season 16 trailer

They first met when Wallace worked as a greengrocer and supplied produce for one of Torode’s restaurants.

But despite the camaraderie that’s made them so popular, in real life they’ve never even been to each other’s houses, opting instead for a one-off ‘ritual meal’ at the beginning of their time working together, before keeping their distance after filming stops.

Read more: Gregg Wallace on surviving bankruptcy and three divorces

In a discussion about their friendship, Wallace said in February: "We trust each other completely. We feel safe with each other. We know that the other one isn't going to – on camera, anyway – ridicule the other one.

"We don't fight for space. We don't fight for time. There is no ego clash.”

Masterchef's John Torode and Gregg Wallace hit back at 'feud' reports
Masterchef's John Torode and Gregg Wallace hit back at 'feud' reports

Torode’s comments come ahead of the return of Celebrity MasterChef next week, with 20 new celebrities trying their luck in the kitchen.

This year’s contestants include Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, Katie Price and Happy Mondays’ frontman, Bez.

Torode’s full interview is available in this week’s Radio Times, out now.

Celebrity MasterChef returns 9 August at 9pm on BBC One.

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