Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

MasterChef Australia star Gary Mehigan’s father dies of cancer in the UK

‘I sorely miss the man he was’: Ex-MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan’s heartache as his beloved father dies of cancer in the UK

Former MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan has confirmed his father Michael has tragically died from cancer age 79.

The 54-year-old spoke out about his loss for the first time on Tuesday, explaining to The Herald Sun that his beloved dad passed away from ‘aggressive’ lung cancer at his home in the UK in January. 

‘I sorely miss the man he was in my life. The guy I always went to for advice and talked to about cars and boxing,’ he said.

Heartache: Former MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan has confirmed his father Michael has tragically died from cancer age 79. Pictured: Gary with wife Mandy

Gary, who lives in Melbourne, was last able to visit the UK for Christmas in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and hopes to return as soon as possible to be with his family.

He went on to say the his father ‘ignored the early signs’, but added it may not have made a difference because the cancer was ‘fairly aggressive’.

Revealing that Michael went through four rounds of chemo and radiotherapy, Gary continued: ‘It’s an awful thing, the disease is one thing but it just ravaged his body.

Far away: Gary, who lives in Melbourne, was last able to visit the UK for Christmas in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit, and hopes to return as soon as possible to be with his family

Far away: Gary, who lives in Melbourne, was last able to visit the UK for Christmas in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit, and hopes to return as soon as possible to be with his family 

‘For someone who was fit and healthy it was hard – we remind ourselves that he was a wonderful dad and when he passed away it was peacefully. Small cell lung cancer can be very painful and uncomfortable so for that we are thankful.’

Gary is now helping to promote the Cancer Council’s Australia’s ==Biggest Morning Tea to help support those affected by cancer.

The popular chef is best known for being an original judge on MasterChef alongside Matt Preston and George Calombaris.

Originals: Gary is best known for being an original judge on MasterChef alongside Matt Preston and George Calombaris

Originals: Gary is best known for being an original judge on MasterChef alongside Matt Preston and George Calombaris

The trio left the cooking reality show in 2019, after a reported pay dispute with Channel 10.

They were replaced by Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo.

Gary and Matt then started Plate of Origin alongside Manu Feildel, but the show endure disappointing ratings and only lasted one season.

New judges: The trio were replaced by Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo (all pictured)

New judges: The trio were replaced by Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo (all pictured)

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