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'MasterChef: The Professionals' returns: Where is Monica Galetti?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/11/2021 - Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - TX: n/a - Episode: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - Judge Generics (No. Judge Generics) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER** Monica Galetti - (C) Shine TV - Photographer: Production
Monica Galetti is not in the 2022 series of MasterChef: The Professionals. (BBC)

A new series of MasterChef is back on our screens as The Professionals get their turn in the famous kitchen.

But regular viewers will notice that series stalwart Monica Galetti is missing from the hosting and judging line-up.

Here's all you need to know about where she is and who's replacing her.

Why is Monica Galetti not on MasterChef: The Professionals?

Monica Galetti will make a guest appearance. (BBC)
Monica Galetti has been a regular fixture on the series since 2009. (BBC)

Long-time fans of the MasterChef spin-off will know that chef Monica Galetti has an extensive history with the show.

It began in 2008 and she has been a co-host and judge since the second series, airing in 2009, when she was signed up as the sous-chef of then-judge Michel Roux Jr.

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She was a hit with viewers, sticking around long after her boss decided to leave the BBC One show, and had served on every series until earlier this year she announced that she would be sitting out the 2022 series.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/11/2021 - Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - TX: n/a - Episode: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - Judge Generics (No. Judge Generics) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER** Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti - (C) Shine TV - Photographer: Production
Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti were the old MasterChef: The Professionals crew. (BBC)

Galetti explained that she needed to focus on her family, and on rebuilding her restaurant business which had been hit hard by COVID lockdowns.

Talking to The One Show in May, Galetti said: "I’ve only been able to commit time to the show for three months when my team are strong, and I can have the balance of family, the restaurant and all my other commitments.

"When I’m filming, people don’t realise I do a 12-hour day of filming, and then I will get back to the restaurant in the evening."

She continued: "But at the moment, things are just out of sync, things are tough at the moment.

Masterchef: The Professionals S13 - The Judges: Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace - (Shine TV)
Monica Galetti hopes to rejoin Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace in the future. (BBC)

"I’m trying to spend time with my family, I have an ill nephew that I try to get back to see and filming was all starting at the same time.

"I’m short at the restaurant, I’m here tonight and straight after this I’m back in my kitchen."

Galetti, 46, added: "I just found a cannot manage the balance this time, and I just knew that something had to give, I think for my own mental health as well.

"It was just getting very dark trying to give 100% to this and 100% to that, and sometimes you just can’t do it all."

Who has replaced Monica Galetti on MasterChef?

Anna Haugh makes her debut in November. (BBC)
Anna Haugh makes her debut on MasterChef: The Professionals. (BBC)

For at least the 2022 series of MasterChef: The Professionals, Galetti will be replaced by acclaimed chef Anna Haugh.

She said: “I’m thrilled to join the MasterChef judging team and meet new chefs on new adventures. I’ll be judging the same way I judge my own chefs in my kitchen – I’ll be firm but fair and my expectations are high. I cannot wait to see what this year’s competition is going to bring.”

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Galetti has said she hopes to return in future, and will also be a guest judge at the chefs' table challenge in the finals.

Haugh said of her predecessor: "MasterChef has an impeccable reputation and legacy within the hospitality industry. I have long-admired Monica as an incredible chef and she’s paved the way for female chefs. It’s a privilege to be keeping her seat warm in the MasterChef kitchen."

Who else presents MasterChef?

John Torode and Gregg Wallace present the main series of MasterChef. (BBC)
John Torode and Gregg Wallace present the main series of MasterChef. (BBC)

It depends which series you're watching - but Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing will be back for The Professionals, this time joined by Haugh.

Wallace and his co-host John Torode present and judge the main series of MasterChef, as well as Celebrity MasterChef.

A new series, Young MasterChef, is due to launch on BBC Three in 2023 with chefs Poppy O'Toole and Kerth Gumbs as judges.

MasterChef: The Professionals begins on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One and continues on Thursday at 9pm and Friday at 8pm.