MasterChef Australia fave and style icon Melissa Leong will embark on a new project on SBS following her departure from the beloved cooking competition show.
Earlier this month, Channel Ten broke the hearts of MasterChef fans after it announced that Leong will not be returning in 2024 to judge the famous cooking show and instead will be using her culinary expertise for the show’s spin-off Dessert Masters.
Although the girlies were sad that they’ve lost another fashionista/foodie queen on TV, it looks like we’re gonna get more Leong. Surprisingly, her new project does not involve any cooking skills or eccentric food presentations.
At SBS’ Upfronts for 2024, the network announced a new documentary series, The Hospital: In The Deep End, which will star Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis, actor Samuel Johnson and Leong.
According to SBS, The Hospital: In The Deep End is a docu-series that will tackle the challenges of Australia’s public health system. Leong, Georgiadis and Johnson all have a “unique connection” to the field, hence why they were chosen for the upcoming series.
During the Upfronts event, Leong reflected on her connection to the health industry, which was through her mother.
“I am proud to be back on the network for the documentary series [that’s] this close to my heart,” Leong began.
“Growing up, my mum would tell me stories of her time as nursing unit manager in the emergency department.”
Speaking to news.com.au, Leong revealed her mother had been working at Sutherland Hospital for “about a decade”. She also added that her mum was only 17 when she started her career as a nurse.
“So to be given the opportunity to be a deeply unqualified fly on the wall, to get a feel for how much pressure the public health system is under, why would you say no to that?” she told the publication.
Last week, Leong shut down any speculation that suggested she was “axed” or fired from the MasterChef panel on Instagram.
“I want to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support this past day, in sharing the news that I am shifting gears and making space in my life for a delicious new chapter,” she began.
“I get that there is going to be a bit of confusion and chaos about the ‘why’ of it all right now. I’m here and happy to clear that up, because negative tropes draped around women who achieve something is boring, and frankly we are all better than that.
“This is a shift I embrace with joy. One that allows everyone involved, to expand. To put it plainly, I’m very fortunate to continue to be a key part of @masterchefau, yet have the space to evolve my career.”
Honestly, I’m just happy to see Leong take on a new challenge. As a young Asian woman working in media, it’s incredible to see all the boundaries be pushed by this queen.
The Hospital: In The Deep End truly sounds like an exciting docuseries and I’m keen for it to drop in 2024.