Chef rumored to move to commerical broadcaster after a decade on niche web
A move to the high-performing ITV, one of the few European webs to increase audience share in 2013, would make sense for the foul-mouthed celebrity chef. The managing director of ITV Studios, Kevin Lygo, was previously at Channel 4 where he worked with the fiery foodie.
ITV declined to comment on an imminent move for Ramsay to the web. Ramsay has been with Channel 4 for the last decade, with shows including “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares,” “Cookalong Live,” “The F Word,” “Gordon’s Great Escape” and “Hotel GB.”
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work with Gordon and are due to start production on a new series, ‘Gordon’s Costa Del Nightmares,’ this summer.”
It was at ITV where Ramsay hosted his first show, “Hell’s Kitchen,” in 2004. The show made little headway for the British broadcaster but went on to become a hit for Fox in the U.S.
Switching from niche web Channel 4, which aired the original “Kitchen Nightmares,” to ITV would likely help Ramsay restore his mojo in Blighty.
“It would make a lot of sense for Gordon to join ITV,” said a TV insider who knows the chef well. “Like a lot of talent he needs a good producer and I think he would be in good hands at ITV which after all is where he started his TV career.”
The U.S. arm of ITV’s production biz, ITV Studios, has a financial stake in the chef’s U.S. success which is a partner with shingle A. Smith & Co. on both Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and the U.S. version of “Kitchen Nightmares,” now into its 15th season.
“ITV does well with Gordon’s shows in the U.S. so does A. Smith, and Gordon does very, very well from the relationship,” said a senior TV executive.
While Ramsay’s reputation in the U.K. has arguably been affected by negative press reports concerning his personal life and business affairs, on the other side of the Atlantic his stock remains high.