Preston reacts to TV’s juiciest rumour
MATT Preston has shot down Aussie TV's juiciest rumour that he is set to join My Kitchen Rules next year.
A report in The Australian claimed that former MasterChef judges Gary Mehigan and Preston would be joining the Channel 7 cooking show in 2020 without their pal, George Calombaris.
But as Preston told news.com.au today, that's not the case.
"I can confirm that I am talking to other networks and producers about new projects for 2020 and beyond," Preston said. "Taking over MKR as host/judge is not on the agenda! I have too much love for Manu, Colin and Pete to do that!"
There have been whispers for months that Channel 7 is keen to sign both Preston and Mehigan but not Calombaris, who earlier this year was fined $200,000 for underpaying staff from his restaurant empire more than $7.8 million in wages.
The three former MasterChef stars are all contracted to Channel 10 until the end of the year, but they each have a different "hold back" agreement with the network that stipulates how long their have to wait before they can sign with other commercial networks in Australia.
According to The Herald Sun's Fiona Byrne, Calombaris' "hold back" clause with Channel 10 is longer than Preston and Mehigan's. But the "hold back" clause doesn't cover international TV opportunities, which Preston told news.com.au was now their main priority.
"The feedback we have all received in person on our travels and online from so many of the 20 million fans around the world who loved watching the 'three musketeers' on TV confirms that we'd be mad not to continue making TV together overseas for the international market," he told news.com.au. "This is something we all look forward to doing when the time is right."
Speculation as to what's next for Mehigan, Preston and Calombaris has been rife since the trio were sensationally dropped by Channel 10 in July.
A press release announcing the judges would be replaced on MasterChef in 2020 caught everyone off guard, including Preston, who was about to head into Triple M to do a radio interview to promote this year's MasterChef finale.
He was in the car outside the radio station when he read on social media that Channel 10 had given him the flick.
"It would probably have felt worse if I was by myself, but the fact I was with one of the publicists with Ten who had no idea and who was just aghast by the situation, especially about to go and do a national radio show, it was a bit of a shock," Preston later said on ABC radio.
Channel 10 announced last week that Mehigan, Preston and Calombaris would be replaced on MasterChef next year by Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.