Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Gregg Wallace's mum defends TV star

BBC bosses have said Gregg Wallace is not being axed

Gregg Wallace's mum has defended the MasterChef star over his scuffle with a guest at a luxury dinner.

Publisher Paul Bates, who was pictured grappling with the former greengrocer-turned-TV presenter, claimed Gregg attacked him "out of the blue."

But a spokeswoman for Gregg said he and his girlfriend Anne-Marie Sterpini had a different memory of events and that Paul's "comments and actions" had "made Anne-Marie feel very uncomfortable".

Gregg's mum Mary Pettman, 68, tweeted: "Glad my son defended his lady. Sorry that it has given a lot of jealous and judgmental people a reason to pillory him.... he is a very caring man."

A Sunday newspaper reported at the weekend that Gregg was to meet with BBC bosses this week to discuss the incident.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Whilst we are speaking to Gregg, he is not being axed."

The fight broke out after the TV personality had hosted Dinner With Gregg Wallace at the Wood Norton Hotel in Evesham, Worcestershire. A picture in The Sun showed white-shirted Gregg grappling with the man while another man tries to restrain him as other guests look on.

A spokeswoman for Gregg said: "Gregg and Anne-Marie's memory of the incident differs to Mr Bates. Perhaps he was unaware that his comments and actions made Anne-Marie feel very uncomfortable. However, as in previous statements, we have made clear that the situation was resolved on the night. Both parties would like to put the incident behind them and move on."

The alleged incident comes months after the star predicted his career would end if fans knew that he had "clumped" some of the people who were rude to him. He later retracted the comment.

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