The MasterChef presenter, 58, quit the BBC Two series in March, having served as its host for seven series. At the time, he said he wanted to spend more time with his three-year-old son, but The Times claimed his decision to leave was prompted by complaints over “inappropriate” comments he made to female staff.
In a report published in May, the publication claimed that the remarks were related to the weight of female staff members and were not sexual.
In response to the allegations, a representative for Wallace told The Independent: “We refer to you the original statement which makes clear his reasons for not continuing filming the series.”
McGuinness, who has replaced Wallace as the show’s host, was asked about his new appointment during an appearance on The One Show on Tuesday (5 December).
Alex Jones said: “We have to really quickly mention Inside the Factory. This is exciting. I mean, this is unexpected.”
McGuinness, laughing, replied: “Very unexpected, yeah – mainly for Gregg, if i’m being honest.”
Laughter could be heard off-screen, with McGuinness’ answer seemingly making Jones’ One Show co-host Jermaine Jenas squirm.
Wallace’s original statement read: “As viewers know, to say I find the inside of factories fascinating is an understatement. I’ve never failed to be amazed by the scale of production, whether it’s conveyor belts full of tiny sweets or a double decker bus rolling out of the factory for the very first time.
‘For me, filming the show alongside my other TV and family commitments has always been a balance and as my son Sid’s needs become more challenging, I’ve decided the time has come to hang up my hairnet.
“We’ve already filmed 12 future episodes so viewers can see me enjoying lots more factories in my hi-viz jacket for a while to come yet.”
The Times reports that a complaint had been lodged to production company Voltage TV, which requested that Wallace moderate his language in the future.
A source close to the situation said: “He was rude towards staff and continued to talk in a derogatory manner, especially to women.”
Members of staff are believed to have said they would not want to continue the show if Wallace were to remain working on it.
A source said that the production company spoke again to Wallace and gave him “a talking to”.
Wallace was “appalled that he had caused such offence”, said a source.
“He felt that he was just trying to be friendly but no longer knew what the right thing to say any more and decided to leave.”
The BBC was made aware of the alleged incident. According to The Times, however, his position as host of MasterChef is not at risk given that the cooking show takes place in a more managed environment.
Additionally, a Nestlé insider told the publication that Wallace had unintentionally upset staff.
“He comes in cracking jokes but is from a very different world to our workers,” said the source.
Nestlé UK said that the company has been “proud to host Inside the Factory on five occasions since the series began.
“We have one more episode filmed… and would be open to participating in future episodes or similar projects.”
The BBC declined to comment.