A former MasterChef Australia contestant that was set to return for the All Stars-style Back To Win season has reportedly been removed from the series mid-shoot after being arrested over an undisclosed incident.
The Herald Sun reports that Ben Ungermann, who was the runner-up in 2017’s Season 9 competition, was quietly removed from production of Back To Win after being arrested over what’s being described as an incident of a “personal nature.”
Ungermann was unveiled as a cast member of Back To Win, which features 24 previous MasterChef contestants returning to the series for another crack at the coveted Ceremonial Prop Plate, and has been part of filming which has been underway in Melbourne since January.
However he has since been removed from production, with reports asserting that other contestants on the series have been left in the dark as to why.
The incident, which producers assert is now a matter for police, is not believed to have involved any other cast member of the series. Unlike previous seasons, the cast is not being made to live in the same house during production and is instead being housed individually in various hotels around Melbourne.
A spokesperson for production company Endemol Shine told the Herald “We can confirm Ben Ungermann has left the MasterChef Australia competition. As this is a police matter, we will not be making further comment.”
It’s unclear at this stage whether Ben, who appeared prominently in several Back To Win promos released by Channel Ten, has been or will be replaced in the cast, or how his removal will affect filming of the series.
MasterChef: Back To Win is scheduled to premiere on Channel Ten come Easter Monday, April 13th.