Michel Roux Jr quits BBC over potato row
- Bang Showbiz
- 12 March 2014
Michel Roux Jr has quit his role as judge on MasterChef and other BBC programmes after being told by bosses that he could not maintain commercial interests with food brands
Michel Roux Jr has quit the BBC after being banned from appearing in potato adverts.
The 53-year-old chef - who has appeared on 'MasterChef: The Professionals' for the past six years and also worked on the channel's 'Food & Drink' series - revealed yesterday that he had quit the channel after they refused to allow him to keep a number of commercial interests, including his role as ambassador for Albert Bartlett's Rooster potatoes.
BBC sources have now revealed that Michel was told he wasn't allowed to appear in adverts for the potatoes, adding that 'Match of the Day' presenter Gary Lineker's £1.5 million deal with Walkers crisps is irrelevant because there's no potential conflict of interest.
A source explained to The Sun newspaper: "When Gary is on Match of the Day he isn't likely to be talking about crisps whereas Roux talks about recipes and food.
"If you are going to be on the BBC as an expert in your field, you can't have commercial affiliations.
"It's a shame that Rooster potatoes seem to be more important to him that MasterChef but that is the choice he has made."
Michel - who has two Michelin stars - said the decision to leave his long-standing role as a judge on the BBC One cooking programme wasn't easy but claimed he couldn't continue to try and negotiate with "frustrating" BBC bosses.
In a statement he said: "This hasn't been an easy decision for me to make ... It's not for lack of trying, but sometimes negotiating with the BBC can be a frustrating process."