BBC Magazines stirs up foodie wars by poaching Aussie chef

BBC Magazines has signed Australian Bill Granger to be a keynote chef on its planned new food title currently known as Project Olive.

Granger has a regular column in Australian food glossy Delicious as well as writing for BBC Good Food and Waitrose Food Illustrated.

Orlando Murrin, executive editor and editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food, described him as “one of the coolest, most likeable, most inspirational chefs in the world”.
He joins a number of other celebrity chefs on Project Olive, including Gordon Ramsay, Donna Hay and Antonio Carluccio and wine writers Max Allen and Kitty Johnson.

The signing is the latest move in the ongoing battle between the BBC and new magazine publisher Seven, which beat off fierce competition from the corporation to win the licence to launch a UK version of Delicious this autumn.

Both titles are being kept under wraps. Murrin is executive editor on Project Olive, which is expected to be one of the biggest launches to come from the BBC this year.

While Seven has poached several high-pro?le BBC staff to work on Delicious, including editor Mitzie Wilson, former editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food. Wilson was highly regarded at the BBC, having taken sales of the magazine to over half a million at its peak.

Wilson also unveiled a top team this week including features editor Gillian Rhys, another BBC recruit who previously held the role of associate editor on Eve; food editor Matthew Drennan, who worked for Waitrose Food Illustrated, Ideal Home and House Beautiful; and art director Kobi van den Akker, formerly at Vogue, She, Red and Waitrose Seasons Magazine.

Seven was set up by Mike Potter, founder of Redwood Publishing, who is joined by former BBC publisher Seamus Geoghegan and editorial director Jo Sandilands. The company hopes the monthly will mirror sales of the Australian version of Delicious which has a circulation of 100,000. Geoghegan told Press Gazette it was essential to get the right people as the company was “young and dynamic”.


By Ruth Addicott

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