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Gregg Wallace 'self-conscious' about 21-year age gap with wife

by Gemma Strong

Six months after his romantic wedding day, Gregg Wallace is clearly head over heels in love. But the MasterChef host has admitted that he used to feel very self-conscious about the 21-year age gap between him and his younger wife. Appearing on Lorraine on Thursday, the 52-year-old TV star opened up about his love story with Anne-Marie – known as Anna – and addressed the difference in years between them. "Anna doesn't seem to be at all concerned about it. I was," he told host Lorraine Kelly. "I spoke to her parents at length, they're Italians. I said, 'I've been married before and I'm a lot older than your daughter.' And her mum said, 'Yes, but your kids live with you and your mum lives round the corner so you must be OK.'"

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Gregg Wallace opened up about his marriage to wife Anna during an appearance on Lorraine

STORY: Gregg Wallace marries his 'princess' bride Anne-Marie - exclusive 

Gregg continued: "But it was going out… like Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. Anna would want to hold my hand. People look at you anyway, and I felt really conscious because she was younger, and I didn't want people to judge her harshly. It was doing the ordinary things." Of his first meeting with Anna, Gregg explained: "I try to reply to as many people as possible [on Twitter]. I did a programme cooking with duck and rhubarb and she sent me a message saying. 'Does that really work?' I went to reply and looked at her photo, and I thought, 'Oh my word. You're a pretty girl.'

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The couple married in August 2016 - as featured exclusively in HELLO!

"So I sent her a message and we started sending messages. Then I sent her my phone number. This was five years ago. She came down to London to have dinner with me, and she said it wasn't until we got to the restaurant that she was comfortable that it was really me and not an imposter." He added: "I think it's just luck. And I got very lucky this time. Very lucky."

STORY: Gregg Wallace and Anna Sterpini talk engagement and baby plans

The star also opened up about his friendship with fellow Masterchef judge John Torode. "I have a very close relationship with John," he said. "We've been filming for 13 years and I'm now being directed by people who started as kids making me a cup of tea. People don't realise how close we are. He was my best man – he's close to me seven, eight months of the year. We're very close to each other physically and emotionally. We trust each other."