MasterChef Australia's iconic trio of judges, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris, will not be returning for MasterChef 2020 after 11 years of hosting the show, Network 10 confirms.
Channel 10 chief executive officer Paul Anderson suggested failed negotiations over a commercial agreement was the reason for the judges' departure, News.com.au reports.
The three judges are also believed to have called it quits following a pay dispute. The Sydney Morning Herald claims the network refused to increase their salaries by more than 40 percent.
Calombaris, Preston and Mehigan were reportedly already on hefty salaries, "well over the AU$1 million" mark, reports the newspaper.
Celebrity chef and restaurant mogul Calombaris received intense backlash after it was revealed he underpaid his Melbourne staff by more than AU$7.8 million. In the wake of the revelations, more than 22,000 people signed a petition calling for his dismissal from MasterChef.
As a result, Calombaris was dropped from a West Australian tourism advertising campaign on Monday.
"We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years," Anderson told News.com.au.
"Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George."