CELEBRITY Irish chef Anna Haugh will explore her homeland in a new 15-part series for the BBC.
Recently commissioned for BBC Daytime, the show will see the former MasterChef: The Professionals judge return to Ireland with some celebrity friends to sample the nation’s best culinary offerings.
The Dubliner, who is the chef patron of Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea, is a regular chef on BBC One’s Morning Live and also a host and regular guest chef on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen.
Born in Tallaght, the mother-of-two has been based in London for many years now, but will return to her roots for the new BBC production.
The working title for her series is No Place Like Home.
It is being produced Below The Radar who explain that it will follow Haugh as she “reconnects with her place of birth, travelling around Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with well-known celebrities to sample the country’s varied food and flavours”.
They add: “In each episode, Anna will set off from her holiday cottage in Northern Ireland to visit towns and cities across the island and explore the communities, culture and cuisine.”
The new show was one of five new commissions announced by the BBC this week, as part of their Hot House scheme, with the support of Northern Ireland Screen.
The commissions were announced by Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer at the BBC, during her Dan Gilbert Lecture at the Belfast Media Festival.
As well as Haugh’s new series, the commissions include a new six-part series on competing to become an art dealer, single documentaries exploring motorcycle racing and First Holy Communions and a new entertainment ‘reality game show’ pilot.
Also commissioned through the scheme for BBC Northern Ireland are Nazis, U-boats And Spies, an hour-long documentary from Alleycats Film, and the three-part series Sheep Dog Showdown, which looks at one of the biggest events in the farming calendar – the World Sheep Dog Trials, which have taken place annually at Dromore in Co. Down for the past 120 years.
A new BBC Arts co-commission examining the life of Belfast-born author of the Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis, by Walk On Air films, has also been moved forward to development stage, the BBC confirmed this week.
“The Hothouse scheme has proved to be a success all round,” Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning at BBC Northern Ireland, said.
“Not only have Northern Ireland indies benefited from the expertise guidance of our network and local commissioning teams in developing their ideas, but the BBC now has a great range of new content to bring to audiences across the UK.”
He added: “I hope this scheme highlights the strength of programme-making talent we have here in the creative sector in Northern Ireland and big thanks to Northern Ireland Screen and our network commissioning colleagues for sharing our ambition and helping to make it happen.”