MasterChef Australia has seen a newfound success and popularity, thanks in part to fan favorite judge Melissa Leong

Popular MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong has announced that she and her husband Joe Jones have separated after nearly four years of marriage

Leong made the shock announcement before Christmas on her Instagram page on Sunday, telling fans that “the time has come” for her and her husband, the bar owner, to split up

“It made us so happy to go together, but it’s time Joe and I split up and moved on separately,” she wrote along with a picture of the couple on their wedding day at Joshua Tree, California / p>

“We ask for your kindness and consideration for our privacy We will and will always be no further comments as our personal lives have done. We wish you peace at the end of such a challenging year for everyone ”

Leong reported on her relationship with Jones in an interview with TV Week in June, stating that they were engaged after just three months and married two months later

“When you know that you know,” she said at the time, “Everything is as good as it is – I’m really happy”

Leong became the standout star of MasterChef earlier this year when a complete hosting remodel revived the cooking show after more than a decade on the air

Viewers loved it, calling it “the best that can happen to prime-time television in 2020”

She has since been crowned WHO magazine’s Sexiest Person in 2020 – an honor she said would “mean something to others who are not used to seeing differences in that quality” – and at the AACTA Awards At the beginning of this month in a year from now, showstopping outfit on the red carpet baffles:

L-R: MasterChef judges Jock Zonfrillo, Leong and Andy Allen at the AACTA Awards Image: GettySource: Getty Images

Leong has also earned admiration by catching up on her own private struggles with viewers, revealing her battle with clinical depression, and using a code word on the MasterChef set to let producers know if she’s struggling

“There are times when I just have to go into a quiet room and close the door and have half an hour to myself”

Season 13 of MasterChef Australia is slated to air on Ten in the first half of 2021 – but could Leong go into the jungle before that? She shared a post that counts the days until I’m a celebrity Get me out of here! Premiere on ten on your Instagram stories over the weekend The hints that have been revealed to the participants so far include a “TV star” and a “renowned chef” – does Leong fit the bill?

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Melissa Leong

World News – AU – “The time has come”: Announcement of the shock split from MasterChef-Star