MasterChef judge trio, Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and George Calombaris have confirmed that they will not be returning to MasterChef next year. Network 10 CEO, Paul Anderson, said that despite months of negotiation, those involved were not able to reach a commercial agreement. On top of this, Anderson thanked Preston, Mehigan and Calombaris for their contribution to the show, as well as helping “ordinary Australians to do extraordinary things for the love of food.”

Preston took to Instagram to convey his emotion, saying, “Thank you so very much for supporting MasterChef over the last 11 years. We have loved every single moment of it.”

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Ten for this amazing opportunity and for Network Ten’s backing of this very special show.”

Mehigan said, “To all of our fans ‘thank you’ To the team that makes MasterChef ‘thank you’ and to all of the contestants that we know and love, we are all part of a very exclusive club and what a journey what an experience.” [sic]

“To explain: ‘It was time to move on, have more free time to explore our own creativity’ It was never about the money and never will be about the money. We couldn’t agree on the term of the new contract for 2020 and season 12. Something we felt very strongly about. The opportunity to work with Matt and George has been a blessing and something I cherish. Working together will continue to be the most important thing for us…..the three musketeers…….” [sic]

This news comes amidst issues with Calombaris, who has come under scrutiny for underpayment of staff in his restaurant empire.