MasterChef UK judge Greg Wallace has made a plea for extra funding to help autistic children that do not fit in to mainstream education.

Wallace, 59, appeared on shopping channel QVC UK to talk about a rose, named after his four-year-old autistic and non-verbal son Sid, which is being sold to help raise money for the charity Ambitious About Autism.

The Little Sid Rose has been created by British breeders Harkness Rose Company, and £5 from every sale is being donated to the charity for autistic children and young people.

Speaking about the flower, Wallace said: “It’s a beautiful fragrance, to me it smells a little bit like vanilla and honey, but the flower itself is the same colour as Sid’s favourite.”

It is being sold by, Harkness Rose Company and World Of Roses, and will also be on display at the Chelsea Flower Show in May.

The TV star, who is an ambassador for the charity, added: “A fiver on each one…. helps directly… young children with autism, because finding education for them is not easy."

Greg Wallace says his autistic son is "very fortunate" but "extra funding" is needed to help others

The MasterChef UK judge said that while his son Sid was "very fortunate" with the support and education he received, there were other children who weren't so lucky and needed the "extra funding".

Wallace said: "Let me tell you, we’re very fortunate, we got him (Sid) into a local special needs school, but autistic children do not fit in well with mainstream education, we do need extra funding.”

In March last year, Wallace stepped away from his BBC Two show Inside The Factory, telling Gaby Roslin’s show on BBC Radio London that Sid needed additional support with his education.

Wallace – who was the original presenter of long-running BBC cooking show Saturday Kitchen, and has featured on Eat Well For Less, Turn Back Time, Harvest and Supermarket Secrets – shares Sid with Anne-Marie Sterpini, who he married in 2016.

The TV presenter also has two children, Tom and Libby, from a previous relationship. 

Before his broadcasting career, Wallace worked at Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market before starting George Allan’s Greengrocers in 1989.

He has taken part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 and was made an MBE in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to food and charity.

His most notable role is that of judge and co-presenter of BBC’s MasterChef since 2005 with celebrity chef John Torode.