Gordon Ramsay to run a hotel with Mary Portas for Channel 4 TV series

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Gordon Ramsay is to run a hotel with Mary Portas for a new Channel 4 TV series
Gordon Ramsay is to run a hotel with Mary Portas for a new Channel 4 TV series
Gordon Ramsay is to turn his focus on the hotel industry when the celebrity chef takes on the running of a hotel with retail guru Mary Portas for a new Channel 4 TV series with the working title Hotel Britannia.

Ramsay and Portas will jointly take over a hotel and turn the venue into a training ground for unemployed people looking to develop a career in the hospitality industry. They will both mentor two of the hotel's workers and offer them training and support.

Members of the public will be able to book a room in the hotel, visit the spa or take a table at the restaurant - all for a charge as the hotel will also be run to raise funds to further help unemployed people get a break.

The pair, who are both Channel 4 stalwarts, will set a major challenge or event in the hotel every day to test the skills of the staff. They will also be joined during the process with other regular Channel 4 faces so Gok Wan, Nick Hewer, Sarah Beeny and Phil Spencer are all slated to possibly appear.

There are no details at the moment as to which hotel will feature or where it will be located.

Kick-start careers

The announcement was made by the broadcaster as Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt presented the annual report to the press and revealed a raft of new programming including a show testing job interview skills, a number of new drama commissions and 4GoesMad - a series of programmes exploring mental health.

Hunt said: "If Channel 4 were to run a hotel it would probably be the best hotel in the world and that's exactly what Hotel Britannia will aim to be as our biggest talent put themselves on the line to help kick-start careers for young people in the service industry. These shows are about doing what Channel 4 does best - bringing complex issues alive with real creative flair."

Kitchen Nightmares

Hotel Britannia is to be produced by Optomen which is responsible for other Ramsay TV projects including Kitchen Nightmares, Shark Bait and his new US TV series exploring struggling hotels in America - Hotel Hell.

Optomen are also responsible for Mary, Queen of Shops - the Mary Portas vehicle where the businesswoman takes on the high street and attempts to turn around the fortunes of local shops. Portas was recently appointed by the Government to lead a review into the high street and suggest recommendations to revive community shopping areas. The Government response to the Portas Review, including a push for further Portas Pilots, was published earlier this year​.

It is not the first time Channel 4 has explored the running of a hotel for a TV series - the hit reality TV show The Hotel which is a light-hearted look behind the scenes of an independent hotel is returning for a third series. The producers, Dragonfly Film and Television Productions, told BigHospitality in March​ they were looking for a new venue to stage the fly-on-the-wall documentary in.

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