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Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace and John Torode’s Favourite Drink Will Haunt You Forever

Popbitch tells a tale of fizzy water and woe

Masterchef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are back for MasterChef 2021 on BBC One BBC [Official Photo]

Masterchef, which bills itself as the toughest cooking competition on TV, has always had an intriguing sideshow: the relationship between judges and not-friends John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Now, a Popbitch newsletter dispatch from the set suggests that the duo have found some common ground: a highly obnoxious, deeply haunting method of requesting a drink. NB, when reading the following, consider that favourite food aphorism: “100 percent reputably sourced and traceable.” The dispatch, in full, is as follows:

Whenever Gregg Wallace or John Torode find themselves feeling thirsty on the set of MasterChef, they will put on a baby voice and ask the nearest runner to get them a “fuzzy waawaa”.

“Fuzzy waawaa is not, as you might imagine, just fizzy water said in an eerie way. It is very specifically (and all studio runners must understand this) a glass of sparkling water served with exactly two cubes of ice, one slice of lemon and one slice of lime.

It is only ever referred to as “fuzzy waawaa”.

Phew. First: thanks to Emily Oram for sharing this with the world.

Second: How did this occur? The pronunciation of “fuzzy” could come from John — a New Zealander would pronounce the “i” more like a “u,” ... but John is Australian... “Waawaa” just sounds like the noise Gregg Wallace makes when someone calls him “Greg.” What is conclusive, is that this dispatch will absolutely ruin everybody’s day, forced to imagine a onetime greengrocer and semi-reputable chef turning to a runner in the same way they do to tell a Malaysian contestant that their slow-cooked rendang isn’t crispy, descending into the kind of babble that would get Jacques Lacan interested in their childhoods, and asking a real human with feelings and a long-term memory for a “fuzzy waawaa.” When watching Masterchef for the tenth time as novel coronavirus pushes the country into self-isolation, reach for a glass, turn on the tap, and be thankful that only still, citrus-free water comes out.