Gregg Wallace is stepping down from BBC One’s programme Inside The Factory to look after his son, Sid.
The three year old, who Gregg shares with his wife Anna-Marie Sterpini, is autistic and nonverbal, and therefore requires more parental input as he approaches his fourth birthday. The Masterchef: The Professionals and Celebrity Masterchef judge will be bidding farewell to the programme after the 7th season, even though he’s been working on the series since it first aired in May 2015.
Wallace explained that his son has something called global development delay, which means he is slower at reaching milestones when it comes to talking.
After being asked what he and his wife had noticed, Gregg explained how Sid ‘wasn’t answering his name, and wasn’t playing peekaboo,’ despite the fact he was able to run around still. The doting father continued, ‘But he is lovely, he is cuddly… If he wants something, he grabs your hand.’
When giving a glimpse of what it’s like to be the parent of a child with autism, he said, ‘imagine a child that you can’t threaten or bribe and that’s basically what you’ve got’.
‘You’ve got a little boy who’s cuddly and happy and naughty, but he can’t speak, he can’t talk to you, so he gets frustrated because he finds it difficult to tell you what exactly it is he needs.’
Gregg Wallace explained that Inside The Factory involved a lot of travelling, with some of it being filmed in Europe, and he needs to spend more time focusing on finding a suitable education for his son.
Sid is the third child of the TV presenter, who already has two children through his first marriage to the late pastry chef Denise Wallace, called Tom and Libby who are both in their twenties. He encouraged parents to ‘go and see someone’ if they believed their child may have an issue.
Looking for the latest Masterchef news? Check out our piece on Monica Galetti returning to Masterchef: The Professionals for 2023