Gregg Wallace has opened up about his battle with alcoholism, revealing he used knock on the door of his local pub at 10am to start drinking.
The MasterChef presenter, 56, admitted he would drink ‘seven days a week’, telling MailOnline: ‘I just wanted to be out and I just wanted to drink. It was seven days a week.
‘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.’
Gregg says his ‘drink dependency’ was at its worst shortly before he started hosting MasterChef in 2005, around the time of his divorce from his second wife Denise and when his weight went up to 16.5 stone.
He has since lost four stone after being warned that he was ‘heading for a heart attack’ by his doctor, and managed to develop a better relationship with alcohol thanks to his fourth wife Anna.
He explained: ‘I don’t think the people out there boozing all the time are in a good mental state – I definitely wasn’t. It means you don’t want to go home.
‘I’d start at 10 in the morning then have a big lunch with a few more drinks, have a couple in the afternoon followed by a big dinner.
‘At the weekends, I used to call my sofa the Betty Ford Clinic. It was drink dependency, I just didn’t realise. It all seemed like fun.
‘It might have also been loneliness and a desire to just party and go out all the time. The idea of being at home wasn’t great.’
Gregg and his first wife Christine split after just six weeks of marriage in 1991, and he and his second wife Denise share his two eldest children Tom, 26, and Libby, 23, and were married from 1999 until 2004.
He and his third wife Heidi tied the knot in 2010 but they also split after just 15 months of marriage.
Gregg has been with his fourth wife Anna since they met in 2013 on Twitter and the pair share a one-year-old son, Sid.
Although Gregg is not completely teetotal, he says Anna helped educate him on when to stop drinking, so he is able to have a couple of drinks without going too far.