MasterChef to air from Sunday, a week after Jock Zonfrillo’s death
3rd May 2023

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The new season of MasterChef Australia will air from Sunday night at 7.30pm, broadcaster Network 10 has revealed.

The season debut will come six days after the original planned launch date on Monday May 1.

Ten was forced to delay the broadcast following the news that day that Jock Zonfrillo, one of the show’s three hosts, had been found dead in a hotel apartment in Lygon Street, Carlton, around 2am on Monday. He is understood to have died last Sunday.

Ten will air a tribute to Jock Zonfrillo on Sunday, followed by the launch of the new season of MasterChef.Credit: Justin McManus; James Brickwood; Jacqui Way; David Solm; Renee Nowytarger; Nic Walker; Supplied

The season debut will be preceded by an hour-long tribute to the Scottish-born chef-turned-broadcaster, to be presented from 6.30pm on The Sunday Project.

A spokesperson for the network said the choice of air date was made in consultation with the Zonfrillo family and had their approval.

The Zonfrillo family, Network 10 and production company Endemol Shine issued a joint statement on Monday announcing the death of 46-year-old Zonfrillo, who was born in Ayr, Scotland, and was officially named Barry.

“With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,” the family said.

“So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words. For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky.

“We implore you to please let us grieve privately as we find a way to navigate through this and find space on the other side to celebrate our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend.”

Ten and Endemol – which jointly hired Zonfrillo in 2019 as one of three new hosts of the flagship cooking show after original hosts Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan departed – said they were “deeply shocked and saddened” at the “sudden loss” of the chef turned TV presenter.

Victoria Police confirmed officers attended a hotel apartment on Lygon Street for a welfare check and found a 46-year-old man dead at 2am on Monday. The death was not being treated as suspicious and police will be preparing a report for the coroner.

Zonfrillo had been married to Lauren Fried since 2017. They had two children together, six-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla. He also had two teenage daughters, Ava and Sophia, from two previous marriages.

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