Monica Galetti's 'MasterChef: The Professionals' replacement is announced

Monica Galetti on MasterChef
Monica Galetti will be replaced on this series of MasterChef: The Professionals. (BBC)

Monica Galetti's replacement on MasterChef: The Professionals has been announced as Anna Haugh.

Earlier this month, Galetti said that she would be stepping down as judge after 14 years on the BBC One cooking contest because she needed to focus on her restaurant business which had been hit hard by the pandemic, and her family.

Read more: The Tourist boosts BBC iPlayer to its strongest ever quarter

Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace are set to stay on as judges, and this year they will be joined by Haugh, a regular chef on BBC One's Morning Live and Saturday Kitchen shows, as well as Ready Steady Cook.

Haugh's kitchen credentials include being the chef patron of Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea and being head chef in the opening of London House for Gordon Ramsay.

Ready Steady Cook - (L-R)  Jeremy Pang, Akis Petretzikis, Romy Gill, Rylan Clark-Neal, Ellis Barrie, Anna Haugh - (C) Remarkable TV - Photographer: Graeme Hunter
Anna Haugh (far right) has appeared on Ready Steady Cook. (Remarkable TV)

She said: "MasterChef has an impeccable reputation and legacy within the hospitality industry. I have long-admired Monica as an incredible chef and she’s paved the way for female chefs. It’s a privilege to be keeping her seat warm in the MasterChef kitchen."

Galetti is expected to eventually make a return to the show in future series.

Read more: RHS Chelsea Flower Show will return in full for first time since 2019

When she announced she would not take part this year, she said: "It is with a heavy heart that I’ve made this decision to step back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti
Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti were the regular team for MasterChef: The Professionals. (Shine TV)

"My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all these commitments meant that something had to give.

"So, for the moment, my focus has to be 100% about my loved ones and rebuilding my kitchen team who have had a battering over the last few months especially. Those in the hospitality industry know just how tough it is at the moment."

Galetti wished her co-stars luck and added: "I hope to be back soon."

Watch: Bez struggles to pronounce anchovies on Celebrity MasterChef