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Monica Galetti takes "break" from MasterChef: The Professionals after 14 years

Monica Galetti takes
© BBC
Monica Galetti announces that she will miss this year's edition of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Monica Galetti has announced that she will not be taking part in this year's edition of MasterChef: The Professionals.

The 46-year-old chef has appeared alongside Gregg Wallace for the last 14 years and since 2014 they have been joined as judges by Marcus Wareing.

In a statement, she said: "It is with a heavy heart that I've made this decision to step back from filming this year's series of MasterChef: The Professionals.

"My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all these commitments meant that something had to give.

"So, for the moment, my focus has to be 100% about my loved ones and rebuilding my kitchen team who have had a battering over the last few months especially. Those in the hospitality industry know just how tough it is at the moment.

"To my MasterChef family, crew and friends, I'm so sorry that I won't be with you this year but I hope to be back soon.

"Thank you to both BBC and Shine TV for being so understanding of my decision but for this year I'll be your number one supporter from the side lines.

"To my fellow judges and friends Marcus and Gregg – I'll be watching – you've got this! If you're ever unsure just think – what would Mon do?! See you soon!"

The new series is expected to air on BBC One in November.

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