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Gordon Ramsay’s hit cooking competition series Next Level Chef to be recorded at new studio development in Ashford Studios, creating the largest unscripted production hub in Ireland
This follows extensive growth in international TV production in Ireland, including FOX Entertainment’s commitment to Irish creative services over the last 18 months supporting dozens of SMEs and hundreds of skilled jobs
The Next Level Chef global hub will see an investment of €30m+ into the Irish Audio-Visual sector and create over 300 jobs during production
An Taoiseach welcomes significant investment in Ireland’s creative industry and notes the growth opportunity for the sector given the rapidly expanding international unscripted TV industry
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD today attended an event at which FOX Entertainment announced a significant commitment worth more than €30 million to Irish TV production and creative services.
Today’s announcement confirmed that the new global hub for FOX Entertainment’s US hit cooking competition series Next Level Chef will be a purpose-built, brand new sound stage at Ashford Studios, Co. Wicklow. With award-winning chef, restaurateur and presenter Gordon Ramsay at the helm and recently renewed for its third and fourth seasons, Next Level Chef will be produced by Studio Ramsay with BiggerStage as the production company.
This announcement follows a period of growth for international TV production in Ireland to the benefit of local production companies and creative talent. FOX Entertainment has produced more than 60 hours of primetime US programming in Ireland in the last 18 months, supporting more than two dozen Irish SMEs and creating over 300 hundred jobs.
FOX Entertainment series recently produced in Ireland include Beat Shazam, Name That Tune and Don’t Forget the Lyrics. In 2021, FOX Alternative Entertainment, in partnership with BiggerStage, also produced the variety competition programme The Big Deal for Virgin Media Television.
Last December, FOX Entertainment’s Emmy Award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment and Dublin-based Boulder Media entered into a production services agreement for a range of primetime animated series, including FOX’s highly anticipated comedies Krapopolis and Grimsburg. Both series, fully-owned by FOX Entertainment, underscore the company’s ongoing commitment to the vibrant local creative industry, building on its existing track record of successful programmes produced in Ireland.
A recent Economic Impact Assessment conducted by PWC highlights the immediate opportunity for unscripted production to become a €300m - €500m industry delivering hundreds of jobs and driving investment in skills, training, infrastructure and regional development should the right fiscal incentive be put in place.
Speaking from the event, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said:
"Today marks a momentous occasion for international television production in Ireland. The last number of years have seen a surge in the sector which is now matched with unparalleled investment from FOX Entertainment and over 300 jobs in the creative industry.
"Ireland is perfectly placed to become a global hub for unscripted productions. Our membership of the EU, close proximity to the UK, strong cultural alignment with the USA and skilled work force makes Ireland a favourable location for investment.
"The benefits from today's announcement will be seen not only in Wicklow but across the whole creative industry in Ireland. This has the future potential to bring about further international production hubs and create secure jobs in a vibrant sector."
Making the announcement at today’s event, Rob Wade, CEO of FOX Entertainment, added: “It has been an honour and privilege to partner with a number of Ireland’s strongest and most creative companies and talent over the past several years. Their impact on our growing slate of unscripted and animated series has been substantial, allowing us to produce premium content in highly efficient and effective ways. We are grateful to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for this opportunity to deepen our relationships and expand our presence in the country, while helping drive local skills and talent even further and working with the production industry bodies and the Irish Government to promote Ireland to the wider international television community.”
Regarding the announcement, Gordon Ramsay noted: “Creating a Global hub in Ireland for Next Level Chef really is an exciting opportunity. Not only do I get to spend weeks filming in a county that I love, it also creates an appealing opportunity for our international partners from around the world.”
Also speaking at the event, Pat Kiely, CEO & Founder of BiggerStage, said: “There has never been a better opportunity for Ireland to grow its TV Production sector through international investment. The incredible creative talent and skills, that allows Ireland to punch above its weight in the audio-visual industry, will now benefit from the pace at which the international unscripted TV industry is growing.
“Today’s announcement, along with other great international partnerships developing in our sector, are providing the proof-points to make Ireland a world-class destination. In turn, this will help grow the wider creative and media industry, support training and regional development and above all create hundreds of sustainable jobs.”
Leo Clancy, CEO Enterprise Ireland, added: “I would like to congratulate Fox Entertainment and BiggerStage on their announcement today. Their continued collaborations align to significant growth in international tv production in Ireland, supporting creative companies and professions in the digital technologies sector. We at Enterprise Ireland commend Fox Entertainment and Bigger Stage in creating innovative partnerships and showcasing talent in Ireland to create more jobs in this rapidly growing industry.”
Notes to Editor
About FOX Entertainment
With a legacy spanning more than 35 years, FOX Entertainment is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands and a prolific content producer across its iconic broadcast network and both owned and third-party streaming platforms. Known for its independent, innovative spirit and provocative, ground-breaking storytelling, the company was reinvented in 2019 with the formation of FOX Entertainment. While maintaining its leadership in broadcast television (The Simpsons, The Cleaning Lady, Hell’s Kitchen, LEGO Masters), the company is actively building a portfolio of businesses and library of owned original content. To date, FOX Entertainment’s long-term growth strategy has included the acquisitions of Emmy Award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers, The Great North, Krapopolis, Grimsburg), entertainment platform TMZ, and global production studio MarVista Entertainment (The Way Home), as well as the formation of the culinary and lifestyle content venture Studio Ramsay Global (Next Level Chef, Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars) in partnership with Gordon Ramsay. The company also established its in-house unscripted studio FOX Alternative Entertainment (The Masked Singer, I Can See Your Voice, Name That Tune), FOX Entertainment Studios (Animal Control) to develop scripted content and worldwide content sales unit FOX Entertainment Global.
About Studio Ramsay Global
Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, Emmy-nominated and BAFTA-winning Gordon Ramsay produces TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, seen by audiences worldwide in more than 200 territories, and he is the only talent on air in the U.S. with four primetime national network shows. He hosts and executive-produces Next Level Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior and the upcoming Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, all on FOX, in addition to specials, including 2021’s Gordon Ramsay’s American Road Trip.
In 2021, Ramsay and FOX Entertainment announced their leading new worldwide production venture, Studio Ramsay Global, with offices in London, Los Angeles and Glasgow, to develop, produce and distribute culinary and lifestyle programming for FOX, Tubi and global markets. His earlier multimedia production company, Studio Ramsay, was launched in the U.K. in 2016 to create and develop unscripted, digital and scripted programming, focusing on new formats and innovative programming, as well as fostering new talent. Its shows include Next Level Chef, which became the most-watched cooking series telecast in television history following its post-Super Bowl LVII Season Two premiere; Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours To Hell And Back, which was the highest-rated food show of 2019; The F-Word Live With Gordon Ramsay; Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted on National Geographic Channel, which airs in 172 countries and 43 languages worldwide; the ratings hit and BAFTA-nominated Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip for ITV; Gordon Ramsay’s Bank Balance on BBC1; the daytime cooking series.
Culinary Genius, which premiered on ITV in the U.K., and was syndicated on FOX stations in the U.S.; the ITV series The Savoy and Gordon on Cocaine; and the highly popular children’s series Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch, starring Tilly Ramsay, for U.K. children’s channel CBBC.
It was recently announced that Ramsay will have his own FAST channel on FOX’s ad-supported streamer Tubi. The FAST channel will feature episodes of classic Ramsay shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. From September, they will be joined by series including Ramsay’s Best Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Gordon’s Great Escape, The F Word and Ramsay in 10.
Studio Ramsay Global Digital Division is behind all of Ramsay’s original content on his highly successful YouTube Channel, which has made Ramsay the most-subscribed chef on the platform. The 18-34 dominated channel launched the trending interview series Scrambled and is also behind the highly successful Ramsay in 10, which went live during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Studio Ramsay Global Digital oversees and creates content for all behind-the-scenes moments from Studio Ramsay linear programming, has produced content for National Geographic and Masterclass, and produces recipe content across Ramsay’s 90 million plus Social Media reach, including his breakout TikTok account.
Founded in March 2021 by Pat Kiely, former managing director of Virgin Media Television, BiggerStage is a media and entertainment company founded on three pillars: producing great content, developing stand-out talent, and creating innovative partnerships. Headquartered in Dublin, the company develops original content for the global market and creates studio hubs in Ireland for international television production.
About Next Level Chef
Produced by Studio Ramsay Global and FOX Alternative Entertainment, Next Level Chef is the next evolution in cooking competitions, as Ramsay has designed a one-of-a-kind culinary gauntlet, set on an iconic stage like you’ve never seen. Over three stories high, each floor contains a stunningly different kitchen. From the glistening top floor to the challenging bottom of the basement, the ingredients match the environment, because Ramsay believes the true test of great chefs is not only what they can do in the best of circumstances, but what kind of magic they can create in the worst!
With a level playing field, Ramsay has opened the competition and scoured the country for the very best line cooks, home chefs, social media stars, food truck owners and everything in between, all competing against one another with the goal of finding the food world’s newest superstar!
Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais, Ramsay and his co-mentors will leave no stone unturned, as they each recruit a group of the talented chefs and take them under their wings. Ramsay and his friends will attempt to bring out the very best in their cooks as they all try to find “the one.”
Although he now sits unrivaled at the top of the culinary world, Ramsay started at the bottom, washing dishes in a local takeout restaurant. He firmly believes that as long as a chef has the drive, talent and perseverance, he or she can make that climb to the top. Creativity, consistency, and cunning are the recipe for success to make it to the Next Level Chef, as the competitors adapt to the challenges waiting for them. Only one can walk away a Next Level Chef and win a life-changing $250,000 grand prize with a one-year mentorship from Gordon, Nyesha and Richard.
About Ashford Studios
Ashford Studios is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built film and television studio located in Ballyhenry, Ashford, County Wicklow, 37 kilometres from Dublin City Centre and 40 minutes from Dublin Airport via the M50 motorway.