Now that the DVD's are out, there's little that can be done new with the site, since Lenny has said there will be no more Chef made. Shame, really, but once in awhile you get something new. A couple of days ago I got this email from a site visitor who didn't name himself. Here's what he said:
No suggestions but good news.
For those of us who wanted to know what the song was that played in the background in Episode 5 Series 3 titled 'Rochelle'.
I found the cd and purchased it and played the song and it is the one that was playing in the above named episode.
ALBUM: So Good
BY: Mica Paris
SONG: Sway (Dance The Blues Away)
This song is Amazon.com here (for the full album).
The DVD sets are now available for pre-order via Amazon.com. Check out my video/DVD page for details and links!
I finally have some concrete information available on Chef! on DVD. The entire series will be released on August 30th, 2005. I'm assuming this is in the United States (Region 1), as the place where I got the update from is a US DVD News Site. Anyway, there will be a box set with all three series together, and you can buy the individual DVD series on their own too if that's what you wish.
The retail price for the complete collection will be $59.92, and the individuals will be $19.98 each. I suspect it will be a lot cheaper than that in actual street price. As far as I know, there's no pre-ordering available, but I will stay on top of that, and when there is, I'll provide some links here.
What's interesting is that in the press release for the series, they finally have given episode titles for Series 3. When Series 3 was first screened, it went out with no episode titles (unlike the previous two series). I've updated my episode guide with this info, and was surpised it took this long to get that info out.
Shown here are the images for the complete box set, as well as the individual discs. You can click on the complete set image for a larger version.
It appears that when Chef! is released on DVD this spring, it will be all of it. According to this link on the BBC America Store website, the title will be "Chef! Complete Collection DVD", which implies it will have all three series of Chef, plus the Xmas episode made inbetween Series 1 & 2.
Still no concrete release date, or any info on extras, but it does appear that it's on the way - FINALLY!
The long wait for Chef! to be released on DVD appears to finally be over. Today I was told that the DVD news site tvshowsondvd.com had recently picked up on my Sep 8th story talking about Chef being released on DVD.
Well, today I was informed that they ran a story on January 27th with some further details regarding the show being released on DVD. It appears it will be released in the Spring of 2005! There's no word yet as to the format of the release nor the contents, but I hope to have some more information on that soon.
A few questions I have regarding the release:
If you read anything on your own about this stuff, and it's not here, please email me. Thanks to Lloyce Wilson for the heads up on all this.
Additionally, once it is released on DVD, I'll grab much better screen shots and do a huge update to the website. :)
It appears that Chef will be released on DVD soon. I don't have any concrete details yet, but I was forwarded two emails in the last couple of days from people who have gotten notification from Lenny Henry themselves (Lenny does reply to emails to his site) saying that it appears there is movement in getting Chef released on DVD. Once I get more concrete details, I'll be sure to update. One of the emails didn't say much more than "Lenny told me it might be released", but the other has some more - here it is:
Hurray ... got the following emails (one copied message from Dan at BBCamerica
and the one immediately following from Len) today September 7, 2004 ... our
original email to Len appears below (you may feel free to include it on the web
site if you like but please remove my email address ... thanks) ... cheers from
Tom in New York.
Good news, "Chef: complete collection" DVD is currently being planned
for release. We will email you when it becomes available. You may also
sign up for our newsletter, which will keep you informed of all upcoming
releases, please click on the link below:
Thank you for shopping at www.BBCAmericaShop.com.
from Lenny Henry at lennyhenry.com:
THUS SPAKE THE BBC
Sent: 03 September 2004 02:43
To: Lenny Henry
Subject: Lenny Henry Site Message
Message sent from the contact page in lennyhenry.com
Message: Please, oh please if there is a GOD tell me that your CHEF!
series will finally be released on DVD in the States!! I/we (the family)
are in CHEF withdrawal ... the videos we bought are fading fast ... we
need our fix of CHEF (all seasons PLEASE) on indestructible / industrial
strength REGION 1 DVD. We worship the ground you walk on but can only
take the suspense a little longer. PLEASE!!!
Well, I got a bit excited last month for no good reason. When I read the news story below about new Chef, I hit Lenny Henry's site and asked about new Chef episodes. It's not to happen, here's what Lenny wrote me back today with...
Don't know where they are getting their information from! Chef won't be coming back I'm afraid, but there are talks about to begin about bringing it out on DVD in some territories. If the demand is there, then it'll happen. I am also hoping to work with Peter Tilbury (who wrote Chef) soon on a new TV series, so watch this space. Speaking of this space, we're planning a few 'Chef's special' pages for the site, check back in a month, maybe.
Thanks for your support..
That's a bit of a shame, but he did imply that it would be out on DVD hopefully. Once I figure out where we should write to, I'll post info on where we can write to see if we can make sure it comes out in the United States.
Holy crap! There's new Chef episodes to come? I have no concrete proof of this, but on Saturday March 20th I was sent an email by a visitor to my site with a link to a story on a BBC news site saying that there may be more Chef. Here's the exact quote given...
Lenny Henry is considering reviving his BBC ONE sitcom Chef! after a seven-year absence.
Unfortunately, that's all the quote says. While that's not a lot of detail, I have to say it's the first indication we've gotten since Series 3 ended back in 1996 that there might be some new episodes. The way that the last episode of Series 3 ended, you got the impression that it was a "last episode". I wanted more, as I loved the show, but I could accept the end because it was sort of wrapped up.
Anyway, I'd love to have more episodes of Chef, and if you do too, I suggest visiting Lenny Henry's website at http://www.lennyhenry.com and write him about it. Let him know you'd want to see more. I've already done that. On a personal note, if there is to be more Chef, I really think the show would have to have Caroline Lee Johnson as well as Roger Griffiths. I'll watch it anyways, but having his wife and Everton are almost a necessity. :)
If you'd like to discuss this, please visit this thread on my Chef forums. You can check out the original news story here, although there's nothing more than what I've said here. Big thanks goes to Jason Calvert for sending me the link.
Two years - yikes! I can't believe I haven't updated the news page in two years. Unfortunately, with no more new chef episodes to be made, that's not totally surprising. In the meantime I've done a few tweaks here and there to the site, make sure to keep an eye on the revision page for all the details.
The reason I'm updating now is to say this. I just was informed last night that Lenny Henry now has his own official website, run by him. THe link is pretty obvious - http://www.lennyhenry.com - He says he will write back to folks eventually, so write him and let him know what you think of Chef (tell him you heard about it from my site, eh? <g>). Seriously, if you enjoyed Chef, it might be nice to visit his site and let him know what you think of the show.
I've also updated the videos page with a statement about the availability of Chef on video/DVD. Thanks.
More screen captures: I captured 6 pictures of Lorelei King (Savannah) in the Julia Roberts movie Notting Hill. I also created a new page (for the first time in AGES) for the site - it's "Chef Actors in other movies" - I put the previous two captures of Jeff Nuttall on there along with the new Notting Hill screen captures. Here's one, check out the new page for the rest.
The guestbook restored!: I've been meaning to do this for a long time, too - but never did it until today. I've restored the guestbook. Well, sort of. The old software I was using for guestbook software was lost in a server crash, and the company that makes it no longer distributes it, and recommends against it for security reasons. However, today I installed some forum software which will let you post messages (and polls) and interact with other site visitors. You can check it out here:
You don't have to sign up to post anything, but certain features of the software will not be available to you if you don't sign up. It's free, so check it out today!
Jeff Nuttall in James Bond movie: I've meant to grab some screenshots of this, and I finally remembered to do it. As shown below, Jeff Nuttall (Gustav LaRoche II) was in the 1999 James Bond flick "The World is Not Enough". In it he plays scientist Dr. Mikhail Arkov. He's not long for movie, and is offed by the villain, but he does appear - here's two screen captures of him from the DVD. Click on either of them for a larger picture.
As long as I'm at it, Lorelei King (Savannah Concord) also had a small part in the 1999 Julia Roberts flick Notting Hill. My wife has that on DVD, so I'll try and remember to bring it up and get a few screen dumps. Might be the start of a new section to this site after quite awhile - "Other Appearances". :)
No news: Nothing really has happened since my last update. No word on Series II or III on video (or on DVD for that matter) - no news on new episodes (not like I'd expect there to be) - pretty much nothing to report, unfortunately. :(
More Chef?: The last time I investigated the matter, Lenny Henry said that there won't be any more Chef, and Crucial Films said the same. However, last month I was contacted by someone at NBC Television inquiring if I had any information as to who owned the rights to the show. I told the guy that I did not, but passed along some contact info I had for Crucial Films. I asked the guy if NBC was interested in doing a remake or new stuff for the show, and he said that he didn't know, he was just someone assigned to find the information. Will NBC do a Chef remake? Who knows - but it could be interesting.
Jeff Nuttall in James Bond movie: I didn't realize this until tonight, but Gustav LaRoche Number II (Jeff Nuttall in Series 3) made an appearance in the most recent James Bond movie, "The World is Not Enough". He played Dr. Mikhail Arkov - a character who is killed (not by Bond), and Bond takes his identity. I thought the guy looked familiar when I saw the movie. I'll try and get a screen capture of this.
No new videos: I get asked a lot if Chef is available on video. Officially, only the first series has been released on video on two videotapes. There are no plans that I am aware of for Series 2 or 3 to be released on video. However, BBC Video just recently switched distributors in the United States from Fox to Warner (I think it's Warner, as I write this, I can't remember 100% for sure). I'm hoping that the new distributor will bring a change in output from BBC shows, and we'll get the show on video. Personally, I'd like to see it released on DVD, but that's a dream and I know it. :) If you would like to purchase the videos, please click on the video covers shown here.
Claire Skinner in Sleepy Hollow: Claire Skinner, who played Lucinda in Series I of Chef! can currently be seen in the Tim Burton movie "Sleepy Hollow". I personally have not seen this movie, but she is listed in the IMDB entry for this movie.
Other recent Chef! actor appearances - I also noticed that the TNT movie "A Christmas Carol" (with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge) had a (brief) Chef appearance. This appearance was by Ian McNeice as Albert Fezziwig. Ian played Gustav LaRoche during Series II of Chef.
Also, the Julia Roberts flick "Notting Hill" from 1999 had Chef series 3 actress "Lorelei King" (Savannah) in it as Julia's character's publicist. Her role was short, but still somewhat funny.
Chef IV: Nope - not going to happen, unfortunately. :(
Chef on BBC America! - Earlier this week I was emailed from someone telling me that Chef is being run on the American cable channel "BBC America". Here is the persons entire email so you can check out the details:
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 00:22:08 -0800
Just a note to let you know that here in the U.S., BBC America (available on some digital cable systems including Cox and TCI as well as thru Direct TC, DISH and Primestar satellite systems) will be showing a Chef! marathon on Thanksgiving (11/35/99) starting at 1:00 pm EST and will be showing all the episodes in order.
They broadcast the series every Monday at 1:40 pm EST.
Chef IV: Unfortunately, there's no new news, Chef is "dead" insofar as new episodes go. However, the release of Series II & III are still to come on video. I read somewhere that they might take it to DVD as well, but this is just a rumor, I know of no actual facts to back this up.
Site Update: It's been awhile since I've updated anything, but quite frankly, there hasn't been much to say. Chef development is apparently done, and I don't know a while lot about Lenny Henry's other shows/productions. I am mostly a Chef! fan - although I have seen some of the Lenny Henry show, I have to admit to not knowing much else of his work outside of Chef.
Given that, there hasn't been much for me to say. If you have something you think I should be covering, please, drop me a line about it - I'm always glad to hear from people about Chef!
Chef IV: I've gotten confirmation of there being no plans for any more Chef from Polly McDonald, who is Executive Producer of Crucial Films, the company who actually made Chef!. She also mentions the possibility of an American Version. (Those things are generally not very well done). This is what I got from her:
From: Polly McDonald <address withheld>
Date: 11/9/98 3:19
Subject: RE: CHEF!
To: joe siegler <email@example.com>
Thank you for your e-mail re 'CHEF!'. I am sorry to say that there are no plans to make a further series.
There is a possibility that someone in the States may do a version at some point, there that is nothing like definite.
I am sorry to write with disappointing news and we are obviously pleased that you enjkoyed the show so much.
All good wishes
I did also get another Email (which I've misplaced, I can't just copy it here) that says that Crucial Films is currently making a film for the BBC called "The Man", which stars Lenny Henry, and was written by Jon Canter. Lenny himself is planning a standup tour for next year that he has dubbed "Large". More on that if I hear about it.
However, it appears there is to be no more Chef, unfortunately. :(
Chef IV: I've heard some very bad news about a fourth series of Chef. There won't be any. Lenny Henry was recently in Australia doing some standup comedy, and someone asked him specifically, "when will there be more Chef", to which he replied that there won't be any. Lenny said he was too busy with other projects (specifically his new BBC Show), and that he wasn't interested in doing more Chef!
Chef IV: Unfortunately, I still haven't heard anything about a fourth series of Chef. :(
Other Appearances: The guy who played the first Gustav LaRoche appeared on a movie last year with Fran Drescher called Beautician and the Beast.
Chef IV: Well, there still hasn't been anything (that I've heard of) on the horizon for Chef IV. I did read a short Internet remark about the last series of Chef, and it seemed to imply that there would be a fourth, but that was written around the time of the release of Series III, so I don't know how accurate that really was.
The Vicar of Dibley: Heard a rumour that Lenny Henry is going to be starring in the new series of "The Vicar of Dibley", which is a BBC Sitcom starring Dawn French. Dawn is Lenny's wife. Trying to track down whether this is true or not.
Chef IV: As of now, there's no plans (that I'm aware of anyway) for a Series IV of Chef!. If you hear anything AND HAVE PROOF OF IT, let me know.
Chef on Video: Well, I'm not so sure about Europe, since I don't live over there, but here in the States, Series I is now available on NTSC Video from CBS/Fox. They're available in a chain called "Suncoast Video" here, but if you can't find them, I've set up a page here where you can order them directly on the Internet (from amazon.com) as well as other BBC shows & sitcoms (coming soon).