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Gary Mehigan reveals the truth about his MasterChef axing

Gary Mehigan reveals the truth about his MasterChef axing

After 11 years of mentoring and judging aspiring Aussie cooks on set, Gary Mehigan said he is ready to move on from MasterChef Australia.

In a new interview with Who, the celebrity chef has opened up about his axing from the Channel 10 show along with fellow judges George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

Mehigan said he was driving into his garage when he received the call informing that he would no longer be a part of the reality program.

“George rang me and said, ‘Did you hear? We’re done’,” Mehigan recalled.

“And I remember saying to George, ‘Are you OK?’”

Despite reports that the three judges were let go over pay dispute, Mehigan said money was not the issue.

“The axing wasn’t a surprise. In honest truth, it was never about the money,” he said.

“The emotional response is more about not having the opportunity to do Season 12 and say goodbye to the viewers.”

Despite the fallout, the 52-year-old said losing his TV role might be a blessing in disguise. “There’s a sense of relief,” he said. “The idea of going, ‘OK, so when I go to India in February, I’m going to take six weeks.’ I’m not tied down.”

Mehigan said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and take on a few passion projects.

“We could have come back in a year’s time or two years’ time. So, for us it was time to move on, a time to do our own thing, time to make a different kind of TV. And after 11 years, we were all ready to hand the baton over to a brighter, younger chef.”

Mehigan also revealed that he has started on a new journey to improve his fitness, and taken his former MasterChef judges along with him.

“We’ve enrolled in the Noosa triathlon and we’re going to do it,” he said.

“I'm going to do the 10km run, George is going to do the cycling. And at the end, Matt’s going to be holding the orange juice and we’re going to get a sub.

“I would never have thought about doing something like that before!”

Scroll through the gallery to see Mehigan in happier times with the show that launched his career.