A former star of cooking program MasterChef has passed away following a mid-race collapse in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Matt Campbell is a well-known English chef who reached the semi-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2017 and was a runner-up on the BBC’s Young Chef of the Year in 2009.
Campbell was set to capitalise on his success this year when filming for a TV pilot, while he was also planning a cookbook and was going on a “roadshow” around the United Kingdom.
But he died after collapsing in the final stages of Sunday’s marathon, the hottest edition in the history of the famous race.
Campbell, who had completed a marathon just a fortnight earlier, said before the London race he was running in “memory of my father, Martin Campbell” and for The Brathray Trust charity.
The chef’s father died about 18 months ago.
Campbell posted this photo (below) on Twitter before the marathon. He is on the right.
— Matthew Campbell (@mCampbellCHEF) April 22, 2018
Campbell collapsed about 36 kilometres through the 42.195km marathon, The Independent reported.
He received medical treatment but later died in hospital.
A statement from marathon organisers Virgin Money said: “Matt was a well known chef who inspired viewers with his nutritional gastronomy movement and forward thinking ideas.
“Matt’s chosen charity, The Brathay Trust, inspires vulnerable young people to make positive changes in their lives.
“Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express our sincere condolences to Matt’s family and friends.”
A PR representative for Campbell, Helen Hokin, said Matt was “a lovely, kind hearted and down-to-earth man”.
“I believe he was poised to become the next great innovator in British food,” she said.
“He was in the middle of a roadshow tour and he had such a way with inspiring young chefs. This is so sad.”
Temperatures reached 23.5C during the marathon.
The social media posts
Campbell posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before the event, expressing his excitement.
On the MasterChef UK Facebook page he wrote: “Myself and Tom Peters after meeting in the final 12 of MasterChef have decided to run London Marathon together.
“I’m running for @brathrayevents and Tom is running for @asthmauk.
“We are nervous but feeling fit and ready! Gonna be as hot as the MasterChef kitchen was last year it looks like.”
A page dedicated to raising money for Campbell’s run had a target of just over $4500 but at time of writing, had received more than $145,000 in donations.