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EXC: John Torode reveals he’s not seen his family in Australia for a year due to COVID-19

He’s been living and working in London nearly 30 years.

But, Masterchef’s John Torode has revealed that he’s not seen his family in Australia for a year because of COVID-19 as he admitted the most difficult thing about the festive period is calling his dad on Christmas morning.

John, 55, who is married to actress turned chef Lisa Faulkner, 48, discussed their winter plans, with his wife confessing she’s been ‘so concerned’ over whether they’d be able to host her father that she’s not yet started buying presents. 

EXCLUSIVE: Masterchef’s John Torode, 55, has revealed that he’s not seen his family in Australia for a year because of COVID-19 and says calling his dad at Christmas is ‘difficult’

John said: ‘It wouldn’t be Christmas for me without a phone call to my dad.

‘It’s always the most difficult part for me because I may have left my home many, many years ago but Christmas is one of those times that I will always talk to my dad.

‘I usually call on Christmas morning, which is evening for them so they’ve had their Christmas day and he’s usually at my brother’s house so I’ll get to see the family and chat.

‘And, they may have had a few jars by then so they’re always a bit more rowdy than our part of the world!’

Festive plans: John and wife Lisa Faulkner, 48, discussed their winter plans, with Lisa admitting she's been 'so concerned' over whether they'd be able to host her father during Christmas

Festive plans: John and wife Lisa Faulkner, 48, discussed their winter plans, with Lisa admitting she’s been ‘so concerned’ over whether they’d be able to host her father during Christmas

John has been unable to see his family this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic but as soon as he can he’ll be flying home to Australia.

He said: ‘My biggest desire for 2021 is to be able to go to Australia to see my family. To be able to travel a little bit and I’d like this bl**dy virus to go away.

‘And I’d also like to swap the seasons with Australia if we can, just for one year because it’s getting cold here already and last weekend it was 28 degrees in Sydney.

‘So, if we can have 28 degrees from now until May, and they have cold weather for a while and then if we go back in the summer again, it’ll be good!’ 

Christmas wish: 'My biggest desire for 2021 is to be able to go to Australia to see my family. To be able to travel a little bit and I'd like this bl**dy virus to go away' John said

Christmas wish: ‘My biggest desire for 2021 is to be able to go to Australia to see my family. To be able to travel a little bit and I’d like this bl**dy virus to go away’ John said

The married couple are fronting a new weekend festive cooking show on ITV, which starts on Saturday. 

Speaking about what he’s getting his wife, and his plans for Christmas John said: ‘I know what I’m getting Lisa. I’ve done stuff already and I’m doing more each week now.

‘Christmas for me is really important. I love Christmas. I love gifting. I love all those things… and I’ve just bought some new napkin rings for the christmas table!

‘And you’ve got to have at least one new bauble for the tree. And you know, we may not be able to have all the family around at one time but we will still have a lovely Christmas.

‘I like practical stuff for Christmas. But I also like the odd surprise when someone buys me something that I don’t expect. And Lisa’s is really good at that.’ 

Worried: 'I've been so concerned with who we can have and whether we can have my dad that the thought of the presents is the last thing on my mind' admitted Lisa

Worried: ‘I’ve been so concerned with who we can have and whether we can have my dad that the thought of the presents is the last thing on my mind’ admitted Lisa

Lisa may well be good a surprising her husband but she’s not thought about shopping yet because it’s been such an odd year.

She said: ‘I really haven’t started my shopping yet! I’ve been so concerned with who we can have and whether we can have my dad that the thought of the presents is the last thing on my mind, which is funny because usually by now I’ve bought gifts and I’ve got a list.

‘It’s been an odd year. I think the present will be 2021 and hopefully getting back to more ‘normal’.

‘Whatever happens we will have a lovely Christmas. We’ve had lots of time locked down and it will feel a bit like that when we’ve got those lovely ‘No Man’s Land’ days in between Christmas and New Year.

‘But there’s something special about Christmas because you don’t have to do anything because it’s a holiday and you can watch Christmas movies and really enjoy the chocolate, the cheese and all the food.’

The loved-up couple, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary in October, opened up about a typical Christmas Day, which starts off with a smoked salmon breakfast.

But John also enjoys a traditional Aussie breakfast. He said: ‘There definitely has to be a leg of ham in the fridge too.

‘I’ve always had that since I was a kid, it’s an Australian thing that comes out! So leg of ham and buttered toast at breakfast time.

‘Maybe the glass of fizz next and then the first presents are opened up.

‘When we start getting lunch ready, who knows what will happen at that stage – maybe some more ham or slice of cheese or something pinched from the side of the roast – and lunchtime feast will entail a couple of glasses of wine and definitely some bread sauce!

‘There is also some red cabbage, because Lisa’s mum used to always do that, so that’s always on the table as well.

Typical Christmas: The loved-up couple, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary in October, opened up about a typical Christmas Day

Typical Christmas: The loved-up couple, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary in October, opened up about a typical Christmas Day

‘The pudding doesn’t usually come out until around five o’clock, maybe a few games have been played.

‘We usually have to twist a few arms, a few people might whinge about that! But if you bribe them with another present then they are more able to be persuaded to play a game!

‘And yes, the important part for Lisa as the evening rolls on, is all the leftovers from Christmas lunch, that’s her favourite thing. That usually happens maybe around 7pm.’

John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen, is on every Saturday in December at 11.40am on ITV. 


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