MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo dies
Award-winning chef and MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo has died suddenly, aged 46.
The Scotsman worked in renowned restaurants around the world before opening his own in Australia.
His death was confirmed by broadcaster Network 10 on the day the 2023 season premiere of MasterChef was set to air.
Zonfrillo is survived by his wife Lauren Fried and four children, who said in a statement their hearts were “shattered”.
“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,” the family said.
Zonfrillo was found dead at a house in Melbourne when police conducted a welfare check in the early hours of Monday morning. Victoria Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious.
His death has sparked an outpouring of grief from figures in the culinary and entertainment world.
Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, as well as a host of former Masterchef contestants led the tributes.
Oliver, who had been due to appear in the season opener posted a picture to Instagram of him with Zonfrillo and the two other judges, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen, on set.
“I’m in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of [Jock].. we had the best time working together for this year’s MasterChef,” he wrote.
Ramsay wrote on Twitter: “Saddened by the devastating news… I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on MasterChef in Australia”.
Network 10 also paid tribute to the star, saying Zonfrillo’s charisma, passion and wicked sense of humour had inspired a nation of home cooks. MasterChef – which is pre-recorded – will not air this week as planned, it said.
Born in Glasgow in 1976, Zonfrillo began working in kitchens at 12. At 15, he became one of the youngest-ever apprentices to work at luxury Scottish resort, The Turnberry Hotel.
Two years later he started working for Michelin-starred British chef Marco Pierre White at his famous Hyde Park Hotel.
But despite his burgeoning career, Zonfrillo said he became broke, homeless and addicted to heroin in his teenage years. He wrote at length about his struggles with drug addiction in his 2021 memoir, Last Shot.
He said he turned a new leaf with a move to Australia in 2000, and went on to open several restaurants. His most successful was Adelaide’s award-winning Restaurant Orana, which opened in 2013.
In 2019, the presenter was announced as part of an all new host line-up for MasterChef Australia.
But Zonfrillo’s career was not without controversy. Orana closed in 2020 with debts of millions of dollars, and Last Shot was criticised as inaccurate by former colleagues, including Marco Pierre White.
French murder mystery film wins Palme d’Or at Cannes
French murder mystery film Anatomy of a Fall has taken the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Director Justine Triet won the Palme d’Or for her tense courtroom drama, which tells the story of a writer accused of her husband’s murder.
She becomes the third female director ever to win the prestigious prize, which was first awarded in 1955.
Her thriller stars German actress Sandra Hüller, who also stars in the Cannes runner-up, The Zone of Interest.
Celine Dion cancels 2023-24 shows over health condition
Celine Dion has cancelled all her remaining live shows, telling fans she is not strong enough to tour after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.
The singer revealed last year she was suffering from Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), which was affecting her singing.
Dion has now cancelled all the shows she had scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the 55-year-old told fans: “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again. “Even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything until I’m really ready to be back on stage.” She added: “I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!”
In December 2022, the French Canadian singer posted an emotional video on Instagram to say she had been diagnosed with SPS and would not be ready to start a European tour in February as planned. She said the disorder was causing muscle spasms and was “not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to”.
The Courage World Tour began in 2019, and Dion completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold. She later cancelled the North American dates due to health problems, and delayed the European leg of the tour. On Friday, those delayed European performances were cancelled altogether, including dates in London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Zurich. A statement released by her tour said the shows were being cancelled with “a sense of tremendous disappointment”. “I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%,” the statement quoted Dion as saying.
The tour was to have been Dion’s first global concert tour in a decade and the first without her husband-manager Rene Angelil, who died from cancer in 2016. Dion is best known for hits including My Heart Will Go On, Because You Loved Me, All By Myself and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.
Musical legend Tina Turner no more
Singer Tina Turner, whose soul classics and pop hits like The Best and What’s Love Got to Do With It made her a superstar, has died at the age of 83.
Turner had suffered a number of health issues in recent years including cancer, a stroke and kidney failure.
She rose to fame alongside husband Ike in the 1960s with songs including Proud Mary and River Deep, Mountain High.
She divorced the abusive Ike in 1978, and went on to find even greater success as a solo artist in the 1980s.
Dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner was famed for her raunchy and energetic stage performances and husky, powerful vocals.
Her death was announced on her official Instagram page.
“With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” the post said.
“Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music.”
Turner won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 as a solo artist, having first been inducted alongside Ike Turner in 1991.
Upon her solo induction, the Hall of Fame noted how she had “expanded the once-limited idea of how a Black woman could conquer a stage and be both a powerhouse and a multidimensional being”.
Younger stars who have felt her influence include Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae and Rihanna.
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