Gregg Wallace has broken his silence over allegations he left Inside The Factory after making ‘derogatory banter’ towards female staff.
Despite stepping back from the BBC2 show in March after claiming he wanted to spend more time with his three-year-old son, the host’s interaction at the Nestlé factory has since been cited as a contributing factor.
The MasterChef presenter was accused of being ‘rude towards staff’ and ‘talking in a derogatory manner, especially to women’ and was alleged to have been ‘appalled’ that he had caused ‘such an offence.’
On Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, the former greengrocer, 58, was grilled by host Richard Madeley over the circumstances of his departure and was asked about the truth of his ‘offensive’ behavior.
Gregg confirmed there was ‘an argument’ on the show but refused to elaborate further and insisted he left to spend more time with his son Sid, who is autistic and non-verbal.
He said: ‘There was an argument in Inside The Factory. The reporting isn’t accurate. There was an issue and I thought that was the perfect time to come out.
‘Offending people? No, no. If you look at the headlines you can’t see a story that matches those headlines. But there was an issue; I don’t want to discuss what the issue was.
‘But I thought it was a good time – Mum needs help with Sid at home, running around the country going to those factories – I thought it was a good time to give something up.’
Gregg had previously said he was stepping aside from Inside The Factory to help raise Sid, who he shares with wife Anne-Marie Sterpini, 21 years his junior.
He told Gaby Roslin’s BBC Radio London show that while his son is a ‘lovely, lovely little boy’ with a ‘wonderful mother’, parenting is ‘not easy’.
‘Right now, we need to find education for him and I can’t just leave that to Anna – that’s a big, big decision,’ he explained.
‘I mean, all parents worry about the schools that children will go to. Ours is even more highlighted because of poor little Sid’s issues.’
The MasterChef presenter had been accused of engaging in comments that were deemed inappropriate and were understood to have related to the weight of women in the facility but were not sexual in nature.
A source told The Times the staff involved shared they would not be happy participating in the show if it was to return with Gregg at the helm.
They continued: ‘[Gregg] felt that he was just trying to be friendly but no longer knew what the right thing to say was anymore and decided to leave.’
Following the initial comments, an insider from Nestle added: ‘He comes in cracking jokes but is from a very different world to our workers.’
Nestle themselves said: ‘Nestlé UK 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.’
Gregg presented the factual programme for the last seven years with the BBC yet to announce his replacement.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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