Ramsay gets out of Hell's Kitchen to sign with Channel 4

LONDON - ITV has been dealt a blow by losing celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as he rules out doing a second series of 'Hell's Kitchen' in favour of a new deal with Channel 4.

Brand Republic reported earlier this year that both channels were trying to get the former Rangers footballer to sign a golden-handcuff deal of around £1m. However, according to a report in The Independent, Ramsay does not want to do a second series of 'Hell's Kitchen' because of the huge time commitment involved.

'Hell's Kitchen' was a ratings winner for ITV, attracting 8m viewers at its peak. It saw celebrities, such as former 'Coronation Street' actress Amanda Barrie and Brooksider Jennifer Ellison, learning how to cook in a real restaurant.

The show cemented Ramsay's reputation as a foul-mouthed, bad-tempered and very watchable TV star. One of the classic one-liners from the fiery chef was a stern dressing down for contestant Edwina Currie. "One minute you're shagging our prime minister and now you're shagging me from behind," he told her.

Ramsay had already had a successful crack at reality TV when he starred in Channel 4 show 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' earlier this year.

In that show, he goes into fledgling restaurants and gives advice on how owners can improve their businesses. In one episode, he described a chef as a "lazy slob who lacks inspiration" and said that he cooked like a "twat".

It is unclear whether a second series of 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' has been commissioned, but insiders claim that this show can be fitted more easily around Ramsay's day job running restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay at Claridges.

The Independent reports that there have been talks of a second series, although nothing has been finalised. Earlier reports this year stated that Ramsay had filmed a pilot for a Channel 4 chatshow to replace Graham Norton.

Granada and Rupert Murdoch's Fox Television are supposedly in advance talks on taking the 'Hells Kitchen' format to the US, but dropping the celebrities for ordinary folk who would win the prize of their own restaurant in Hollywood.

Earlier this month, Ramsay signed up to appear in a new TV commercial for Walkers Crisps with fellow former footballer Gary Lineker. The ad is due to be screened in September.

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