MasterChef star Gregg Wallace has hit out at "rude" strangers and urged viewers to stop sending him photographs of their dinner - and their bald friends - on Twitter.
The 48-year-old former greengrocer told the Radio Times that his career would end if people knew that he had "clumped" some of the people who were rude to him, before retracting his comment.
He told the Radio Times: "The only downside to my job is lack of privacy. I'm glad we became well known in our 40s.
"We're household names but not big movie stars. I'm a south-east London blue-collar boy, so sometimes people are rude, thinking I won't react because I'm on television.
"My natural inclination is to clump them - and I have. If that was known I'd be arrested and it would end my career."
He added: "OK, I haven't done it. But here's a plea: could viewers stop sending me pictures of their dinner on Twitter - I get about 30 a day."
Wallace, who apparently spends three hours a day replying, added: "And also photographs of their friends who are bald and have glasses, telling me they're my double."
He insisted: "They're not my double - just a bald bloke with glasses."
Co-presenter John Torode, 47, told the magazine that the pair did not say goodbye to axed MasterChef contestants because they are not important.
"When they walk in with food they think is amazing and our comments are pretty awful, the reality hits home. Some bounce back. Others don't," he said.
"With pressure and upset comes innovation. MasterChef may change their career so it shakes them to the core, or causes emotional and mental upset.
"Our job is to push the good ones forward. Those who leave aren't important any more. We don't say goodbye to them."
Wallace added: "I do look at some contestants and wonder why they're here, but if they're sobbing and really upset we turn off the cameras... There are some we warm to and it's upsetting to see them mess up."
Torode, who parted from his second wife at the end of 2011, said that the TV pair have a strong partnership because they never socialise with each other or visit each other's homes.
"We have our own lives, otherwise we'd morph into each other. I don't want his personality, and he doesn't want mine. We share a dressing room and are so close in the studio I can see inside his ears, smell his breath and know which aftershave he's wearing," he said.
"We have respect bordering on affection and hardly ever fall out. The longest debate we've had over contestants is an hour and a half."
Torode, who is in a new relationship with actress turned Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner, said: "I'm having a very nice time, thank you. I'm fit, healthy and fortunate, which is all I'm saying.
"Be patient. Gregg's been through this before (he said in reference to Wallace's love life), but things that made my life difficult over the last 10 years are slowly disappearing and I'm happier for it."
Meanwhile Wallace, who separated from his third wife Heidi last year after 18 months, said that there was "someone special now" but that it was "early days".
He added: "I've had women turn me down saying, 'Gregg, you're a lovely man but I don't want to be the next story in The Sun.'
The presenters also hit out at food snobbery, saying they love fast food.
Wallace, who has lost two and a half stone, said: "People are disappointed when I say I've just had a Big Mac. They expect me to have fine food constantly. What they really mean is they don't like me eating where the poor eat.
"We were in Newport in Wales recently and had a curry half and half - chips and rice with curry sauce. And in Manchester they have 'babies and bastard' - pie and gravy. Good on them."
He said he would continue to do MasterChef "until they have to puree the food for me to suck through a straw".
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