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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Worldwide Channels gets cooking with Optomen International

BBC Worldwide Channels has acquired a package of over 100 hours of top rating culinary and lifestyle programming from leading UK independent producer and distributor Optomen International, including its hit Channel 4 series Heston's Feast.

Boasting a line-up of some of the UK's top cooking talent, including multi-Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, owner of the world famous Fat Duck restaurant, and rising star Valentine Warner, the line-up of new programmes are set to air on BBC Lifestyle throughout Asia and EMEA during 2009.

Airing to rave reviews and audiences of over three million on the UK's Channel 4 this March, Heston's Feast (5 x 60 mins) sees the inventor of snail porridge travelling back in time to culinary worlds that have gone untasted for centuries to find out if the future of food lies in the gastronomy of our past. Heston's mission is to surprise jaded 21st century palates by scientifically reconstructing an inventive back-to-the-future banquet. Through each programme, he will create a spectacular feast for a room of demanding celebrities and hard-nosed critics, from a theatrical Roman feast of pig nipple scratchings, calf's brain custard, and a slow-cooked hog filled with edible intestines to a crazy Victorian banquet, complete with an edible garden and absinthe jelly!

Joining Heston on BBC Lifestyle is superstar chef Gordon Ramsay, whose unique approach to cooking and fiery temper are already proving hugely popular with the channel's viewers around the world. Following the success of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word, BBC Lifestyle has picked up the award-winning Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong Live (8 x 60 mins series), as well as new series of The F Word and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA.

Originally airing on Channel 4, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong Live saw the abrasive chef take on his toughest challenge yet, as he pledged to teach Britain to cook in the first ever nationwide cookery master-class, daring viewers to cook along with him as he prepared a delicious three course meal in just one hour. Eight extraordinary hours of live, adrenaline-fuelled, unmissable entertainment, Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live is the ultimate 21st century food show.

Making his debut on BBC Lifestyle, meanwhile, is chef and passionate foodie Valentine Warner, whose BBC Two series What To Eat Now reached audiences of over three million when it aired last year. BBC Worldwide Channels has acquired series one and two of What To Eat Now, which joins Warner as he embarks on a mouth-watering, content-rich and beautifully filmed journey through the very best of seasonal autumn and summer food. Informative, funny, and packed full of riveting information and great recipes, What To Eat Now is the definitive guide to seasonal cooking.

David Weiland, SVP of programming for BBC Worldwide Channels, commented: "Cooking programmes are proving incredibly popular with our viewers around the world and we're always on the look-out for the freshest new shows from UK and international producers. Optomen has continued to take this genre to new heights, and I'm sure that these latest titles will become must see shows for BBC Lifestyle. Gordon Ramsay is already a huge hit on our channels and Heston Blumenthal is set to join him once viewers around the world have sampled his unique and innovative style of cooking."

Heston's Feast has been picked up for BBC Lifestyle in Poland and South Africa, while Cookalong Live will launch on BBC Lifestyle in Asia, Poland and South Africa later this year. Series one of What To Eat Now will launch on BBC Lifestyle in Poland, South Africa and Scandinavia later this year.

Rounding out the list of deals, BBC Worldwide Channels has also picked up series one and two of Mary Queen of Shops, series two of Great British Menu and Kitchen Criminals.

Caroline Stephenson, Head of Sales at Optomen International, commented: "Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay and Valentine Warner - that's one dinner party I'd love to go to! I'm delighted that Heston's Feast, What To Eat Now and Cookalong Live are going to be seen by BBC Lifestyle's viewers alongside our long-standing hits The F Word and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares."

The deal was brokered on behalf of BBC Worldwide Channels by Karin Marelle, Acquisition Consultant, Programming.

Dominic Schreiber

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