The controversial reality TV chef Pete Evans will exit My Kitchen Rules, Seven’s defining show of the decade which slumped badly in the ratings this year.
Evans, a self-styled health guru held one of the most lucrative jobs in television despite a series of controversies related to his views on health and nutrition.
But in the end it was the ratings that spelt the end for Evans who was earning close to $1m for his role on the Seven cooking show and other appearances on the network.
Promoting a paleo diet and unscientific health claims – while enjoying a very high profile – led to several rebukes from the Australian Medical Association and scientists.
Last month the Therapeutic Goods Administration fined Evans $25,200 for spruiking a $15,000 light machine to fight coronavirus.
On Friday the Guardian reported Evans had come under fresh criticism for promoting the coronavirus views of David Icke, the British conspiracy theorist.
Evans urged his Instagram followers to watch a three-hour-long interview in which Icke simultaneously claims Covid-19 is “a fake pandemic with no virus” and links infections to 5G antenna installations.
There is also no suggestion his departure from My Kitchen Rules is related to the social media post.
Seven has not made any public comment about Evans’ departure but Guardian Australia has confirmed he is leaving the show.
Sources say he may still appear on Better Homes and Gardens.
The lacklustre performance of MKR after 10 years on air and Seven’s dire financial situation led to what has been described by the network as an “amicable” parting of the ways. The network said Evans left to pursue other endeavours.
MRK, which Evans has co-hosted with Manu Feildel, was beaten by Nine’s Married at First Sight, Australian Survivor and ABC’s 7.30, and had its lowest ratings in 2020.
Seven has not confirmed that MKR will be back, only that announcements will be made later in the year.
Guardian Australia has contacted Evans for comment.
In 2017 Evans’s documentary The Magic Pill, which claimed that following his paleo diet guidelines for five weeks could drastically reduce symptoms of diabetes, cancer and autism, was labelled “silly” and “harmful” by the Australian Medical Association.
In 2015 the Public Health Association of Australia, said a recipe in an Evans cookbook for DIY baby milk formula, made from liver and bone broth, contained 10 times the maximum safe daily intake of vitamin A for babies.