Gary Mehigan has denied claims he and fellow MasterChef Australia judges George Calombaris and Matt Preston were chasing a pay raise.
The former judge spoke out against the rumours, telling the Sydney Morning Herald “There’s the ‘three greedy judges’ narrative, then there’s reality.”
The reality, Mehigan insists, is that negotiations broke down because of a disagreement over timelines not salaries. “All the financial terms had been agreed; it was purely about the length of the new contract,” he told the paper.
Network Ten was looking to contract all three judges until the end of 2020; a commitment none of them were keen to make.
The interview — Mehigan’s first since the news broke two weeks ago — does confirm rumours the trio has formed their own company, GaryGeorge&Matt. The company, which sprung from a “boys trip”, could see the trio producing anything from books, podcasts and TV series to food festivals, and apparently it’s one reason behind negotiations failed.
While the men did want to continue on as judges for the popular program, the commitment would have limited their ability to pursue other projects such as GaryGeorge&Matt.