Gregg Wallace grilled on spot over BBC show exit after 'derogatory banter' allegations
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Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley put TV presenter Gregg Wallace on the spot today with questions about the allegations surrounding his departure from the BBC's Inside The Factory.
However, just a few weeks later, reports emerged suggesting Wallace's departure was actually in part spurred by complaints over 'inappropriate' comments he'd made to female staff while working on the series.
The alleged incident was said to have taken place at a Nestlé factory in York at the start of the year, with The Times claiming that the remarks were not sexual but related to the weight of female staff members.
A source claimed to the publication: "He was rude towards staff and continued to talk in a derogatory manner, especially to women."
In response to the allegations, a representative for Wallace told The Independent at the time: “We refer to you the original statement which makes clear his reasons for not continuing filming the series.”
Though the statement appeared to stand by Wallace's original claims that he wanted more time with his son, Madeley grilled the presenter about the truth of his alleged 'offensive' behaviour when he appeared on Good Morning Britain today (15 August).
In response, Wallace stood by the explanation that he left to spend time with Sid, who is autistic and non-verbal, though he did admit there was an 'argument' that took place during filming.
"There was an argument in Inside The Factory. The reporting isn’t accurate," he said.
Wallace continued: "There was an issue and I thought that was the perfect time to come out. Offending people? No, no. If you look at the headlines you can’t see a story that matches those headlines. But there was an issue; I don’t want to discuss what the issue was.
"But I thought it was a good time – Mum needs help with Sid at home, running around the country going to those factories – I thought it was a good time to give something up."
Wallace shares his three-year-old son with his wife, Anne-Marie Sterpini.
In a statement of its own, Nestle said: "Nestlé UK has been proud to host Inside the Factory on five occasions since the series began.
"We have one more episode filmed . . . and would be open to participating in future episodes or similar projects."
Wallace's departure from Inside The Factory came after he'd presented the show for seven series.