Popular judge on BBC's Masterchef Gregg Wallace has revealed how high anxiety levels led to rashes and cold sores on his face while taking part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Sitting down recently with The Mirror's Men in Mind podcast the Masterchef judge revealed his mental health struggles and the battles he has had with anxiety all through his career.

Wallace, 50, during the podcast said anxiety had been a constant in his life for years, but something he now manages through therapy, and self-care - which includes exercise, eating well and cutting down booze.

Gregg Wallace says stress of Strictly gave him rashes

While Wallace may have his anxiety levels under control these days, it wasn't so much the case nine years ago when he was competing on Strictly Come Dancing with partner Aliona Vilani .

Dudley News: Gregg Wallace is a judge in Masterchef alongside John Torode.Gregg Wallace is a judge in Masterchef alongside John Torode. (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

Speaking on The Mirror's podcast, the Masterchef judge said: “I was having a really tough time. I was really, really stressed… so badly that the side of my face broke out into a rash, like cold sores.”

It got to the point where he couldn’t take to the stage and Strictly bosses were so worried about him they recommended he speak to a therapist.

Wallace added: “I was due to do the dance that night and I called her up and said, ‘Are you free? Can you come and help me?’

"She jumped in the car, came into my dressing room and had me in floods of tears. But I went out and danced.”

He ­maintained that ­relationship with the same ­therapist – and credits her for helping to unpick what he calls his “low ­self-esteem”, and “self-doubt” issues, The Mirror reported.

Wallace said in the podcast he believed the anxiety stems from growing up with no money, leaving home with no qualifications and originally barely struggling to get by.

Even after landing his role on Masterchef back in 2005, the anxiety levels continued to be an issue for the 50-year-old. 

Wallace said: "I felt keenly that I had no money when I was a young person, and that really scares me. And even when I was doing really well, I wasn’t getting less scared. In fact, I was getting more scared.”

“I used to not be able to go on holiday without getting anxiety attacks. I had to go to my hotel room and not come out and try to plan things… what my life was going to be like and how I was going.”

Despite the anxiety levels and suggestions from his wife of 10 years, Anna - who he met on Twitter in 2013 after she asked him if you could cook duck and rhubarb together - as to whether he would consider walking away from it all, Wallace's ambition still drives him forward.

He added: "She says: ‘Is this worth it? You’re wonderful and you provide for your family really well, but I’m not convinced you’re doing it for us. I think you are doing it for you.’

“Anna says I’ll reach the point I am going to calm down and then that’ll just be a springboard to the next thing."

As well as therapy, Wallace credits Anna for helping to overhaul his life, mentally, as well as physically.

Wallace said he hoped his appearance on the podcast would help others come forward to discuss their mental health issues and get help if needed.

He said: "We’ve gone well past the stage where there’s any stigma about talking about these things. If you are suffering at all, go and get help.

“If by chance a young person is listening to this, it’s not your fault. Please, just get out there and tell somebody.”