Channel 5 Productions will commence with Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars, a new cookery competition featuring hundreds of couples who run restaurants trying to impress the celebrity chef.
Pierre White, who previously fronted Hell's Kitchen for ITV1, will select three couples to compete in a specially designed restaurant, attempting to please members of the public with their food and service.
"This is a very exciting new programme for me to be involved with because although I've been a chef, run restaurants and taught all manner of people how to cook, this is the first time I'll be judging professional restaurateurs," he said.
"Really good restaurants balance great food with brilliant service and that's all about the partnership between the chef and front of house. That's why a lot of restaurants are run by couples so I'm off on the road to find them.
"The best will then compete in a specially designed space where they'll run their restaurants, side by side, cooking meals and delivering service to real diners," Pierre White added. "Only one couple can win - who has the talent, the strategy and the skills to impress me and the Great British public."
This marks the first time in that Channel 5 has produced its own content in its 15-year history, having previously just relied on the output of independent production houses.
Around 20 staff are understood to be working in the new department, based at Desmond's Northern & Shell media company.
Rival commercial broadcasters Channel 4 and ITV already operate their own production houses, generating revenue from selling hit formats to overseas TV channels.
Channel 5 head of factual, news and current affairs Andrew O'Connell said: "We are delighted to be working with a personality like Marco Pierre White who is one of Britain's leading chefs. This show will feature the best of British competing at something that really captures the public's imagination."
Louise Rainbow, Channel 5's executive producer of Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars, added: "The show concept will create a nail-biting series, and we just couldn't resist it. It's an ideal first step into creating the content that we want on the channel, and something we want to explore much more moving forward."
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