Gregg Wallace has admitted he battled alcohol dependency in secret, and would often start drinking at 10am in the morning.
The 56-year-old MasterChef presenter said that at the height of his problem – shortly after his divorce from his second wife – the landlord of his local pub in London’s Clerkenwell would still be in his dressing gown when Wallace arrived for his first drink of the day.
Wallace told MailOnline: "I just wanted to be out and I just wanted to drink. It was seven days a week.
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"It got so bad at one point the owner of The White Bear in Clerkenwell used to let me in when he was still in his dressing gown.
“I'd be in there with the window cleaner, who was also a drunk, and a drunken lawyer and we'd start drinking at 10am – then the landlord would open up and we'd just catch up and tell him what we had."
The TV presenter split from second wife Denise in 2004. In 2005 the former greengrocer landed his role as co-presenter of MasterChef.
He revealed: “At the point I was doing MasterChef, it had eased off by then, I'd overcome the worst – but I was still drinking quite heavily four or five nights a week.”
Wallace married fourth wife Anne-Marie Sterpini, 34, in 2016 and they have a 17-month-old son, Sid.
He credits Anne-Marie with helping him cut back on his drinking.
Wallace said: “She taught me the second drink is normally when you feel the most euphoria and if you carry on drinking from there, you don't prolong the feeling, you go somewhere else. That's what I learned. It's very much the Italian perspective on alcohol.”
Wallace met Anne-Marie on Twitter in 2013. They welcomed baby Sid last year after struggling to conceive.
The former greengrocer and self-confessed pudding-lover used to weigh over 16 stone but went on a health kick in 2017, cutting back on alcohol, fry-ups and takeaways as well as joining a gym, and has lost over four stone.
Watch: Gregg Wallace comments on the age gap between him and his wife