Gordon Ramsay confident new game show Bank Balance will be hit before it’s aired

Gordon Ramsay is so confident his new BBC1 game show will be a massive hit he is comparing it with The Chase, The Wall and Who Wants to Be a ­Millionaire? before it has even aired.

The chef, who first embarked on a TV career with Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in 2004, is turning game show host with Gordon Ramsay’s Bank Balance.

But he admits to being nervous after BBC bosses decided to screen the untested format in prime time over three nights of the week – for three weeks.

“There’s something pretty dynamic about being given a show at 9pm, stripped across nine nights on the BBC,” he says. “You wake up in the morning and you s**t yourself.

The chef is confident about the new BBC format

“It’s very rare you get a chance to not just present your own show, but be part of that creative team. And that was the bit that got me out of bed every morning at 5am. You look at the success of The Chase, The Wall, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? coming back, there’s ­definitely a need for that kind of connect. And Bank Balance offers that.”

Ramsay says the young team at his TV company Studio Ramsay dedicated hundreds of hours during lockdown to the development of the show, which “fingers crossed” will be “an amazing hit”.

Players can win up to £100,000

“We were on it 12 hours a day, five days a week,” he says. “I’d never go in thinking it was a home run. There’s going to be a lot of eyeballs on this thing.”

Players can win up to £100,000 by answering questions against the clock to earn the chance to ­balance bars across a precarious pyramid structure. One false move and it comes tumbling down.

Ramsay says: “You start off tiny and you start looking at the actual halfway size, and then you go up to 75%, and all of a sudden you’ve built this bloody thing and it’s like, ‘This is mega. Holy crap’.”

Ramsay and his family at the BAFTA Children’s Awards

ITV’s The Chase, with Bradley Walsh, has gone from strength to strength with the new Beat the Chasers version while Phillip ­Schofield brought back his game show The Cube with a £1million prize.

And after years off air, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? returned, this time with Jeremy Clarkson asking the questions.

The BBC are also getting in on the action with Danny Dyer’s The Wall and Michael McIntryre’s The Wheel, which has been sold to the US.

One false move from contestants could seriously cost them

Ramsay says a major aim for Bank Balance was to make it look different saying: “I wanted something sort of cutting edge.” He demanded the most glamorous set possible, asking “if James Bond was ever to walk on to a game show, what would it look like?”

The rose-gold set resembles a spaceship which he says “intimidates every goddamn guest that walks up those stairs”.

Ramsay, 54, said to be worth £48million, came in for criticism last year for laying off 500 staff at his restaurants at the start of the pandemic rather than putting them on furlough.

The chef is alleged to be worth £48million

Claiming the Government has been “super supportive” of the industry, he says: “It’s been tough. Think of the pressure: 22,472 reservations we had to cancel through December. The one glory month that gets us through that first weak part of the year, January, February, when everyone goes dry and becomes a vegan for 90 days.” He adds: “I haven’t missed the food critics. But no doubt those f***ers are coming back.”

Filmed with social distancing, some players on the show have struggled due to the pandemic.

“I look at the contestants and it’s like my sister’s friend or my mum’s friend from her hospice,” Ramsay says. “These are real people who are ­experiencing some very awkward, difficult, ­traumatic times. You see how nervous they are. Their lips are quivering, they’re twitching, you have to calm them down. I love that kind of pressure, FYI. I didn’t go up there all cocksure about becoming a phenomenal host. I just kept it real.”

Ramsay, Gino DAcampo and Fred Sirieix

He says playing the game was comparable to running a high-end restaurant. “It’s packed with jeopardy because you’re up against the clock. If there’s one thing Bank Balance has taught me to be, it’s be decisive. Stand by your convictions.”

The aim is to make Bank Balance a UK hit before touting it across the world. “There’s been a lot of interest in the US,” he says. “Make it a UK cool Britannia hit. Let that speak volumes.”

And he says when contestants come away with little or nothing, it gets him down. “I take it personally,” he sighs.

  • Bank Balance, BBC1, February 24, 9pm.

Originally from https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/gordon-ramsay-confident-new-game-23500679

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