Tuesday 20 March 2018

Nick Munier left in dark over MasterChef axing

RTÉ TELEVISION LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR MASTERCHEF IRELAND 2012. Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier
RTÉ TELEVISION LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR MASTERCHEF IRELAND 2012. Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

TV star Nick Munier said he was left in the dark about RTE's MasterChef Ireland being taken off the menu.

The show he fronted with top chef Dylan McGrath has been axed by the national broadcaster ahead of the launch of its autumn/winter season schedule.

And restaurateur Nick revealed how he had not been told the show wasn't being served up for another season.

"I didn't know it wasn't returning," he said. "I was just told it was looking for a title sponsor."

But the busy dad-of-two said that not having to film another new series will give him some precious family time.

"At least I get to go on holiday with my boys and create other possibilities that may arise," he continued.

Munier, who used to work with Marco Pierre White on the prime-time British show Hell's Kitchen on ITV, runs busy city-centre restaurant Pichet and is also an artist who exhibits regularly.

His programme co-star, chef Dylan McGrath, also has a hectic schedule running several restaurants, including Fade Street Social and Rustic STone with plans to open up a new culinary venue.

Reports claim that the decision not to bring back the culinary programme was due to the lac of a main sponsor.

The syndicated show, which performed well for RTE in the ratings, costs €2m to make, and was previously sponsored by airline Emirates.

When it first began airing in 2011, it pulled in an average of 250,000 viewers per episode and had become a firm staple of the broadcaster's schedule, expanding it to a celebrity version in 2013.

Airing twice weekly, the last instalment of the show began its 10 week run last March.

But a show spokesman said that they had been unable to secure a main sponsor for the new series and the show wouldn't be coming back this year.

He added, "It's not gone for good.  It is often the case that a show like MasterChef is rested for a number of seasons so never say never.

"It is an expensive show to produce and at any given time, you have give camera crews working on it.  Without a sponsor, it simply isn't possible to make it."

MasterChef Ireland is one of a number of shows that won't be coming back for the new schedule as the station tries to stay in the black financially.

There was huge surprise among Irish viewers after RTE confirmed that comedian Mario Rosenstock's hit show wouldn't be coming back this year either, despite it garnering huge ratings for the station.


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