26/01/2012 06:39 GMT | Updated 27/03/2012 06:12 BST

'MasterChef' Judge John Torode Splits From Wife

MasterChef's John Torode has split from wife Jessica after four years of marriage, it has emerged.

The 46-year-old is believed to have left the couple's five-bedroom, £1.2m home in Streatham, London.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a friend of the star said: "It is very sad, particularly considering they have young children. They were such a nice couple."

The couple first moved in together in 2001 and married six years later. The star has previously spoken about how be proposed, revealing he lined the hallway of their home with candles and placed a sapphire and diamond ring from Tiffany’s inside a diary in which he had written the proposed wedding date.

Earlier this month, John cryptically tweeted: "Hello everyone, have been away but things needed doin…"

A spokesperson for the celebrity chef told the Daily Mail: "John has always preferred to keep his personal life private and at this time we hope that people respect this."

The couple has two kids, Jonah, seven and Lulu, five, while John also has two children - Marselle, 14, and Casper, 12 - from a previous relationship.