Tuesday 12 December 2017

I'll submit my shows when 'the IFTAs get their act together' - Masterchef boss

TV producer Larry Bass
TV producer Larry Bass
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

MasterChef producer Larry Bass is standing by his decision not to submit any of his hugely popular TV programmes for the 2014 IFTA’s as he believes the ceremony is an inaccurate reflection of the Irish film and TV industry.

Bass used to produce the awards ceremony, which claims to celebrate the best and brightest talent, in the Irish film and TV industry.

“I've been involved in the IFTA's since the very first year,” he told the Irish Independent. “I produced the first two years of it, so I know it inside and backwards.

“I think the Irish industry needs an award show that awards the best of the best. But these days, the IFTAs doesn't reflect the majority of programmes on Irish television,” he said.

“It is now completely about film and TV drama. When IFTA get their act together, I'll gladly be part of something,” he added.

Bass believes the awards ceremony neglects to champion Irish comedy or reality entertainment shows.

“If you look at Irish television schedules any night of the week, how many Irish films are you going to see? How many Irish dramas are you going to see? But the majority of the awards go to film and drama. They don’t include 98% of what is on Irish television every night.”

The third series of MasterChef Ireland returns to RTÉ One this evening at 8.30pm with 24 contestants going head to head over the course of ten weeks to be crowned Ireland’s MasterChef champion. 

And Bass is confident it will be the biggest series yet, boldly claiming it will be more popular with Irish audiences than the 2014 World Cup.

“More people will watch this than will watch the World Cup definitely,” he said.

“Because not everyone is into football, not everyone is into sport, but everyone has to eat. So we're all fascinated by food and with chefs. And Dylan and Nick are so passionate about food – it’s compulsive to watch.”

Dylan McGrath, who owns popular restaurants ‘Rustic Stone’ and ‘Fade Street Social’, described MasterChef as the “X Factor of cooking” although he admitted to never having watched any episodes of it or any other cookery show. 

“I don’t watch cookery programmes,” he said. “It’s like watching paint dry for me. I do that all day – why would I watch it when I get home?” 

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