Monica Galetti says 'something had to give' as she explains 'MasterChef' exit

Monica Galetti in chef's whites
Monica Galetti says she is protecting her mental health by stepping back from MasterChef: The Professionals. (Shine TV)

Monica Galetti has explained more about her reasons for exiting MasterChef: The Professionals, saying "something had to give" to protect her mental health and that things had got "very dark".

The top chef and TV judge had spent 14 years on the BBC One contest looking to find a new star of the restaurant world, but in April announced that she would not be on screen alongside co-stars Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace for the new series.

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Citing family reasons and needing to focus on her London restaurant Mere after the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, Galetti will be replaced on the show by Saturday Kitchen's Anna Haugh but has said she hopes to return in future years.

Talking to The One Show, Galetti said: "I’ve only been able to commit time to the show for three months when my team are strong, and I can have the balance of family, the restaurant and all my other commitments.

Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti
Monica Galetti usually stars alongside Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace in MasterChef: The Professionals. (Shine TV)

"When I’m filming, people don’t realise I do a 12-hour day of filming, and then I will get back to the restaurant in the evening."

She continued: "But at the moment, things are just out of sync, things are tough at the moment.

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"I’m trying to spend time with my family, I have an ill nephew that I try to get back to see and filming was all starting at the same time.

"I’m short at the restaurant, I’m here tonight and straight after this I’m back in my kitchen."

Monica Galetti, Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace in the MasterChef kitchen
The trio are hoping to be back together in the future. (Shine TV)

Explaining that she needed to protect her mental health, Galetti, 46, added: "I just found a cannot manage the balance this time, and I just knew that something had to give, I think for my own mental health as well.

"It was just getting very dark trying to give 100% to this and 100% to that, and sometimes you just can’t do it all."

On Thursday, Galetti will appear alongside Mary Berry and Rahul Mandal in BBC One's The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking, where they will decide on a celebratory pudding recipe to mark the Queen's Jubilee celebrations designed by a member of the public.

The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking airs on Thursday 12 May at 8pm on BBC One.

Watch: Monica Galetti reveals her advice for Queen Elizabeth pudding competition