MasterChef to move to Birmingham in landmark deal

18 February, 2022

BBC and show producers Shine TV agree multi-series, six-year deal for MasterChef
Production to be based in Birmingham from Digbeth Loc. Studios

The BBC and MasterChef producer, Shine TV, (part of Banijay UK), have agreed a multi-series deal, which sees the production move out of London for the first time since 2001* and a commitment to MasterChef titles on the BBC for six years.

As part of the BBC’s Across the UK plans, all MasterChef series will be made at the brand-new Digbeth Loc. Studios complex in the Digbeth area of Birmingham from 2024 – which includes: BBC One’s MasterChef, MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef and the recently announced Young MasterChef (WT) for BBC Three, as well as any festive editions.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said:

“We said we would create jobs and investment, bringing decision-making and productions to the West Midlands as part of our Across the UK plans. Moving one of our biggest programme brands shows we are making that a reality. This is great news for Birmingham and the BBC.”

Kate Phillips, Director of BBC Entertainment, said:

“MasterChef is one of the BBC’s biggest Entertainment shows and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to the brand and the city of Birmingham. It’s an exciting new chapter and its move to one of the UK’s youngest and most diverse cities will provide many opportunities in the area to support an already thriving production sector.”

MasterChef has consistently been the BBC’s highest rating cookery format over the past five years and the latest series had its highest rating launch since 2017. Celebrity MasterChef is the BBC’s second highest rating cookery show after MasterChef, while the most recent series of MasterChef: The Professionals, (which moved from BBC Two to BBC One in 2020), saw a record-breaking performance.

Lucinda Hicks, CEO Banijay UK said:

“We are delighted to be taking our incredible production to Birmingham. Not only is it one of the most creatively exciting and culinary diverse regions in country, but it is also on the cusp of being a major TV production centre again. Having a multi-series, returning show like MasterChef made in the Midlands will provide a multitude of local roles, training and development opportunities, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the TV industry of the future.”

Jon Swain, Managing Director, Shine TV said:

“MasterChef is a phenomenal brand which just goes from strength to strength – testament to the production team led by David Ambler and Katie Attwood who continue to create a series that is so loved by viewers. Birmingham is a fantastic city with a great food scene. Moving production to the heart of one of the country’s youngest and most diverse cities, will allow us to further invigorate the programmes and showcase even more exciting new culinary stars from every corner of the UK.”

Steven Knight, Digbeth Loc. said:

“I am genuinely thrilled that MasterChef is coming to Birmingham and honoured that Shine TV has chosen to locate such an iconic production at Digbeth Loc. We will work hard to ensure that this internationally renowned TV institution instantly feels at home in our creative environment, and we look forward to welcoming many more blue chip brands into our rapidly expanding media neighbourhood.”

Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, said:

“The MasterChef family of programmes coming to the West Midlands is wonderful news. Create Central’s new long-term partnership with the BBC is all about attracting high-profile productions and investment to the region. This is just the start of the BBC’s investment in the region which generates a wider creative evolution, with the licence fee acting as venture capital for our local creative economy.”

MasterChef’s Executive Editor is David Ambler and Series Editor is Katie Attwood. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Sarah Clay.