Masterchef's John Torode denies Gregg Wallace's claim they are close friends

Mark Chandler

Masterchef's John Torode has denied co-host Gregg Wallace's claim that the pair are close friends.

They may have a matching passion for food, but the presenter said the pair have had vicious arguments while filming and have never been to each other's houses.

Mr Torode's blunt comments came days after Mr Wallace said on live television that they share a close emotional bond.

After 12 years judging the show together, the 51-year-old Australian chef told The Mirror: "It's funny, we've never been friends.

"We've not been to each other's houses. He's so OCD, he wouldn't know what to do.

"If we go away to somewhere like South Africa, we do things separately.

"If we do go out for a drink, I'll invariably be at one end of a big old table and he'll be at the other."

Mr Torode's claim came despite being asked to be best man at Mr Wallace's wedding to Anne-Marie Sterpini last year.

Co-host Mr Wallace, 52, told ITV's Lorraine on Thursday: "I film with John six or seven months of the year, so we are very close to each other physically, and emotionally we are very close to each other.

"What's great about having a partnership is that if one of you is a bit off, a bit down, the other one naturally steps up, so I rely on John a lot."

They reportedly met during Mr Torode's early career working at central London restaurant Quaglino's, which served vegetables supplied by Wallace.

The duo later began presenting and judging the popular BBC cooking series when it was revamped in 2005.

But the Australian chef told how disagreements over their hopeful cooks' dishes on the show have been known to continue away from the cameras.

Describing how they once had a "massive fight" over a contestant after a few too many drinks, he said: "We've had a couple of stand-offs over the years ... I've just had to walk away from him."

The current series is now three episodes and one quarter-final into the competition.

While they both praised Leanne's perfect puddings, they gave opposite reviews of Imran's Indian spice-infused platter, leaving it down to guest judge Amol Rajan to break the tie.

Not friends: The Masterchef hosts: BBC/Shine TV
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