British Producer and Indie Boss Patricia Llewellyn Dies

Producer launched TV career of Gordon Ramsay, who last week spoke of her influence

Patricia Llewellyn Dead: U.K. Producer and

British producer Patricia Llewellyn – who ran production group Optomen and helped launch numerous cooking series and the TV careers of several chefs, including Gordon Ramsay – has died. She was 55.

Last week at Mipcom, Ramsay paid tribute to Llewellyn in his keynote address. In an interview with Variety prior to the market, he spoke of his admiration for Llewellyn, who set up his One Potato Two Potato production company with him.

“In terms of creating new ideas and producing new talent, in many ways I look at success and the talent Pat Llewellyn had,” he said. “She discovered [TV chefs] the Two Fat Ladies, launched [Jamie Oliver breakout series] ‘The Naked Chef,’ and she launched me.”

Llewellyn was managing director of Optomen until last year. During her time at the helm, the production group launched numerous unscripted hits, many in the food and drink area, including “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” and Heston Blumenthal series “Heston’s Feasts.”

Optomen was acquired by All3Media in 2010. All3Media CEO Jane Turton paid tribute to Llewellyn, who had been battling a long illness.

“As the boss of Optomen, she developed and produced some of the world’s best-known and loved programs and introduced us to amazing talent who until then were completely unknown, or only became household names after working with Pat,” she said. “She was a pioneer, creatively brilliant and a fantastic business leader. She was also great fun, witty, warm, kind and clever, and there was never ever a dull moment in her company.”

Llewellyn also launched the TV career of Mary Portas with “Mary, Queen of Shops,” and she also paid tribute the producer on Twitter, saying she owed Llewellyn “so so much.”