| 10.5°C Dublin

MasterChef Gregg splits from wife he met on the net -- after just one year

MASTERCHEF star Gregg Wallace has split from his third wife, a little over a year after tying the knot.

The food guru said that he was still in love with his partner Heidi and confirmed that she was still looking after his two children from a previous marriage.

Gregg (47) has moved out to the couple's London flat-- with friends blaming pressures of work for their separation.

But Heidi, a former biology teacher, will live in the family home in Whitstable, Kent and continues to work as his PA.

The chef who runs a catering company, Wallace & Co and London restaurant Gregg's Table, has credited his wife's influence for helping him achieve a trimmer figure and healthier outlook.

He said that she introduced him to the gym and helping him swap morning fry-ups for muesli.

Gregg said that "in the bad old days" he would be out drinking every night.

"One bill was £3,000... but now all I want is to be with Heidi," he said. "She's way out of my league, but she loves me. I couldn't be without her. Never, ever, ever."

The pair took to social networking sites to confirm news of their separation -- ironically the same forum where they first met three years ago.

Gregg said: "I have nothing but love and respect for Heidi and the amazing job she does for this little family."

Heidi (30) later added: "I can confirm Gregg and I have separated. All amicable and still very close. He's a wonderful man."

The pair originally met on Twitter when Heidi provocatively asked if he knew he had been labelled a 'weird crush' in a magazine.

Her daring paid off -- Wallace replied with the message "Ever visit London? Give me a call, I'll buy you lunch" which was swiftly followed by a date at the Baftas in April. A spokesman for Wallace said that the couple made the "difficult and mutual decision" to take some time apart, due to a number of factors.

"They remain on amicable terms with only the best support for each other," they added.

The Londoner's first wife Christine left him after just six weeks of marriage in 1991.

His second marriage ended after five years when his wife Denise, a former pastry chef from the Sanctuary Club in Covent Garden, discovered that he had been cheating on her.

Denise (51) had a breakdown afterwards, spending three months in hospital and Gregg got full custody of their two children.

Now his third wife Heidi is caring for his children Tom (17) and Libby (15) at their marital home 60 miles away from where he is living in Kent.