Masterchef

MasterChef’s Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris on working together for ten years: “You can’t fake it!”

After a decade together, the judges have become family.

By Luke Dennehy

They say friends are family you choose for yourself. It's a sentiment that rings true for MasterChef Australia judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris.

Having worked together on the hit reality series since 2009, the trio have an on-screen chemistry and closeness that's rare in the entertainment industry.

Now, as the show that brought them together celebrates it's 10th birthday, TV WEEK hosts a party to mark the special occasion.

Of course, Gary, Matt and George are there to blow out the candles and chat about the remarkable milestone.

Ten seasons later and they still can't hide their excitement.
Ten seasons later and they still can't hide their excitement.

It's in this moment that George takes the time to reflect and thank his fellow co-hosts, Matt and Gary, for their continued support over the years.

Last year, 39-year-old George had to repay $2.6 million in staff wages from his restaurant group, Made Establishment.

He was also charged with assault after a brawl at the A-League grand final.

But he says buddies Matt and Gary had his back every step of the way.

"One hundred per cent," George tells TV WEEK. "You learn very quickly who your friends are during the tough times."

"Blow 'em out and wish for a blender!"
"Blow 'em out and wish for a blender!"

The celebrity chef say it's "comforting and wonderful and beautiful" to know he has the full support of his pals.

"It's the same for me," he declares. "I will always be there for them."

Matt and Gary couldn't agree more.

"It's a functional marriage," Gary, 51, jokes.

"And beyond that, it's a good marriage. We forgive each other and support each other. Most importantly, we give each other space when we need it."

He adds they've all been through difficult times. And whether it's been personal or professional, Gary says the trio feel they're able to ask each other for genuine advice and support.

"We keep each other honest," he says.

The trio have become thick as thieves.
The trio have become thick as thieves.

It's that closeness and genuine love for each other that has seen the three men become some of the most iconic presenters in Australian TV history.

Network executives often struggle to find that winning on-screen chemistry. But for the MasterChef stars, it just works – and it works very well.

So what has been the secret to the trio's ongoing success?

"I think the three of us are so similar, but we're also totally different human beings," George says. "I guess if we were the same, it would be a disaster."

"Nigella says it's like being with naughty brothers."
"Nigella says it's like being with naughty brothers."

Food critic Matt adds you can't fake chemistry on TV. He declares that's why the trio work so well together, and it will be what keeps them on our screens.

"Over the 10 years, we've probably had four or five arguments – and that's insane," the 54-year-old says.

"We share a common sense of values and of what is important for this show.

"We have a joy for what we do, and that translates to what we do. You can't fake that."

For the full interview with Matt, Gary and George, pick up the latest issue of TV WEEK. On sale now!

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