MASTERCHEF'S Gregg Wallace is set to take centre stage at Bishop Auckland Food Festival.

The BBC MasterChef co-host will headline the Food Festival this April sharing behind the scenes anecdotes while cooking up a variety of dishes on Sunday, April 14 at 11am and 2pm.

He said: “I’m very much looking forward to my visit, meeting new people, discovering their passion for food and sampling local specialities.”

The TV personality – who started his career at Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market – believes markets and festivals have the power to spark conversations about food, as well as allowing producers and suppliers to interact directly with their customers.

The Londoner used market trading as a springboard to George Allen’s Greengrocers, the company he started in 1989, which achieved an eventual turnover of more than £7.5 million.

His business success led to an invitation to co-present Veg Talk on BBC Radio 4 and television projects, including BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, Eat Well for Less, Inside the Factory, Turn Back Time, and Supermarket Secrets.

He has co-presented BBC MasterChef since 2005 alongside Australian chef John Torode and has become known for his extensive culinary knowledge and unapologetic sweet tooth.

The success of the programme has led to the equally popular spin-off shows Celebrity MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals.

Organisers of the Durham County Council festival said they were thrilled the MasterChef judge will be topping the line-up at this year’s event which is part of Durham19’s year of culture.

The festival attracted over 27,000 food lovers last year and created record sales boosting profits for traders and local businesses.

Durham County Council said feedback from the 2018 festival was overwhelmingly positive and organisers are drawing on visitors’ comments to ensure the festival is bigger and better in 2019.

Festival-goers can look forward to even more stalls selling a tempting array of local produce and delicious dishes from all over the world.

There will also be live music, children’s entertainment and a varied programme of workshops and live cookery demonstrations, with the full line-up to be revealed within the next few weeks.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural affairs at Durham County Council, said: “Bishop Auckland Food Festival is a wonderful day out for all of the family and an opportunity to sample the finest fare our region has to offer.

“However, the benefits it brings to County Durham do not stop there. It attracts thousands of people into our region, generating vital income and strengthening our reputation as a culinary destination.”

  • Tickets for the star’s cooking demonstration cost £10 or £15 for a VIP pass, which includes priority seating and a meet and greet opportunity.
  • To book tickets and to stay up to date with the latest festival news, visit, like the Bishop Auckland Food Festival Facebook page or follow @bishfoodfest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • To find out more about other events and activities connected to the Durham 19 Year of Culture campaign, visit