RTE to serve up a second helping of Masterchef
RTE's hit show Masterchef Ireland is back on the menu for Irish viewers, the Herald can reveal.
Those involved in the production had been keeping tight-lipped as to whether the Irish version of the popular format would be coming back for a second series.
An inside source has now confirmed that the cookery programme, fronted by Dylan McGrath and Nick Munier, will definitely return to our small screens.
But there is still a question mark over whether or not they'll be bringing out the first celebrity version of the show.
Given the success of TV3's Celebrity Come Dine With Me, RTE is now hoping to bring out a similar show themselves, with Ireland's well-known faces showing off their cookery skills.
"The main show did very well for RTE and it had a real Irish feel about it, despite it being an international format. Nick and Dylan had a great TV chemistry and brought their own personalities to the show," said the source.
"It will be coming back later on this year and there's even talk of a celebrity version of the show but that's not yet confirmed as those programmes are always tricky to do. Like everything else in TV, it's all down to budgets."
The celebrity version of the show has been running for some time in Britain with speculation about doing a similar show in Ireland.
The programme was gobbled up by Irish viewers when it first aired last autumn, pulling in an average of 281,000 viewers with an audience share of 17.5pc. It also scored four different IFTA nominations, including best director for Lynda McQuaid and best entertainment programme for Larry Bass of ShinAwil.
It even spawned a spin-off show in the form of a live theatre show at the Taste of Christmas featuring last year's winner Mary Carney. She picked up a cheque for a cool €25,000 after beating off stiff competition from her fellow finalists.
An RTE spokesperson described it as a "real ratings success story".