'My natural inclination is to thump rude people - and I have', says Masterchef's Gregg Wallace - 'Ok, I haven't'


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The Independent Online

Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace has suggested in a baffling interview that he has hit some of his critics, before retracting the comment.

Although he says he “loves” celebrity for its perks, Wallace claims to find it hard to deal with the negativity that can come with fame.

“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 told www.radiotimes.com, before taking the statement back.

“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.”

The former greengrocer, “ingredients expert” and now restaurateur, has seen his fame and popularity rise in recent years. A former presenter of hit show Saturday Kitchen, he has over 96,000 followers on Twitter and a video remixing him saying the words “buttery biscuit base” has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube.

He has also seen his personal life become the stuff of tabloid sensation: last year his third wife Heidi, left him after just fifteen months, with both sides speaking about the split to the press.

Just as he struggles with the downsides of fame, Wallace says he finds modern dating etiquette tricky too.

“I believe in old-fashioned manners,” he added in the interview. “I rise when a lady comes to the table, and the older I get the more I realise they appreciate it. The problem is they’re not used to it. The number of times I’ve opened a car door for a lady, gone to the other side and found she’s shifted over to give me room. And when I walk on the outside of the pavement they get confused.”