The Real Reason Gordon Ramsay Started An American Version Of Hell's Kitchen

In June 2020, The Sun printed a story concerning Gordon Ramsay's purported interest in bringing Hell's Kitchen back to ITV, the British channel on which Ramsay originally presented his creation in 2004. "He's always wanted to bring Hell's Kitchen back to ­British TV and he wouldn't want anyone else to be fronting its revival," a source close to Gordon Ramsay claims. Now, nothing more has come from that rumor, but it is worth wondering why he left ITV's show for FOX 16 years ago.

At surface level, he signed a contract with Channel 4, as the Irish Examiner mentioned, meaning he could no longer host the show on the direct, domestic competitor. However, he could host the show syndicated by ITV on Fox, which is what The Guardian reported in 2004. That would be the easy, tamer story of conflicting contracts signed by a person trying to get on in the industry, but there's a bit more to the tale.

Gordon Ramsay has a bit of artistic integrity

Another explanation given is that Gordon Ramsay believed in a specific vision for Hell's Kitchen - a vision ITV did not want to follow, but Fox did. 

This theory, offered without sources by BabbleTop, claims that the television executives did not like the idea of filling the contestant line up with non-celebrities. "So, rather than having aspiring chefs competing against each other in a cooking competition," the outlet explained, "it would be people who are already famous and can't cook competing against each other."

This could be implied by a comment Gordon Ramsay made to The Guardian about the contestants: "The format will be a little different. The chefs won't be celebrities this time, just ordinary men and women who think they can make it in the kitchen." This could be read as enthusing as opposed to a matter-of-fact summation. However, the explanation could also be a difference in culture between the television companies. 

Adding to the uncertainty, the inside source from The Sun conveys the rumor with the assumption that Ramsay's British show would feature celebrities, and not regular people, writing "Despite Gordon making life a misery for many of the celebrities, famous faces are likely to be clamoring to sign up." If the British show actually gets made – a big if – then the composition of the contestants would tell us how much the backgrounds of these people weighed on Ramsay's mind as he signed a new contract with Channel 4.