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Middle East net gets ready to cook

Following recent format deals with BBCWW and Fremantle, Middle Eastern satcaster MBC's appetite for British entertainment formats continues, giving Endemol its first ever sale in the region.

From next Wednesday, the pan-regional network starts airing its own version of the cookery gameshow Ready Steady Cook, originally a Bazal show for BBC1. MBC's version is being shot in Cairo and will go out to the net's subscriber base of 130m Arabic-speaking viewers.

With the title 1,2,3 Cook, the 52-part series will air once a week. However, MBC's director of production & programming Youssef El-Deeb said the show will likely air in a daily slot from next year.

{It'll be even more successful during Ramadan,{ he added, {when food plays a more important part in the daily lives of Arabs.{ A celebrity version is planned for Islam's holy month. El-Deeb described the deal as {an appetiser. We look forward to bigger shows with Endemol.{

MBC recently picked up the Talkback format Liar from Fremantle, as well as Top of the Pops from BBC Worldwide. The Dubai-based network has previously licensed The Gong Show and Draghon's Den from Sony and The Chair from Target.

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