'I can finally take Masterchef trophy out'
RELIEF: Athlete kept TV win a secret – even from his mum and dad
Ireland's first Celebrity Masterchef winner David Gillick has spoken of his relief at being able to take the trophy "out of the wardrobe" after being forced to wait two months to reveal his triumph.
The 30-year-old Irish 400m champion said it was "really frustrating" to keep his win a secret – he even had to lie to his parents.
The Dubliner was judged the winner by celebrity chefs Dylan McGrath and Nick Munier in last night's final after impressing with his summer meringue and fish special.
David beat eight celebrities to win the first season of the show, including news reader Aengus MacGrianna, who was runner-up, and presenter Maia Dunphy, who finished in third place.
"It was a frustrating time because I won it two months ago, but I couldn't celebrate it properly or tell anyone, so I finally got to take it out of the wardrobe.
"I RETURNED HOME FROM AUSTRALIA THIS YEAR AND I AM BACK LIVING WITH MY MAM AND DAD SO THEY KEPT ASKING ME, BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO RUIN THE SHOW FOR THEM," THE EUROPEAN INDOOR CHAMPION TOLD THE HERALD.
And David said that his strict athlete's diet almost ruined his chances of winning the contest because of the limit it places on his meal choices.
"I have a very healthy diet and cook a lot, but that didn't give me a great insight into making food because I had a staple three or four meals that I ate over and over," he explained.
"It was difficult for me at the start because obviously they were using a lot of butter and oil that I normally wouldn't eat when I am training.
"It has opened me up to a whole range of new dishes and I'm not afraid to try more elaborate things."
After the big news was revealed last night, David enjoyed a celebratory dinner with his close family and friends and also paid tribute to his long-term girlfriend, English runner Charlotte Wickham.
"She was delighted for me and she really encouraged me to do Masterchef because I was having a tough time with my injury so I think the show really replaced the summer of athletics for me," he said.
David said he wouldn't rule out doing another reality TV show if it "was worth doing", but is focusing on his athletics career after making the move back home for good.
"I decided to make the permanent move back to Ireland because I wanted to finally be able to unpack everything and get settled somewhere," David told the Herald.
"I'd been living abroad in England and Australia for a few years, but I missed my family and friends and it's nice to able to put down roots."
David has his eye on Brazil in 2016 after an injury interrupted year.
"I've been to the Olympics before and it was a great experience so I'd love to go back, it's a great buzz, but you have to take it as it comes.
"I did some TV work for RTE during last year's Olympics and I loved that so if more TV stuff comes up, then great," added David.