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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 16:03 GMT

Blumenthal signs up to Channel 4

Heston Blumenthal
Heston Blumenthal is known for his outlandish dishes

Chef Heston Blumenthal is to present a series of programmes for Channel 4 as part of a two-year deal.

Blumenthal, Bafta-nominated for the BBC's In Search of Perfection, will try to revive the fortunes of roadside cafe chain Little Chef.

Channel 4's new summer season also marks the final run of Richard and Judy's teatime show on the channel.

Charlotte Church is returning for a third series of her show, the first since her baby was born in September.

Historical dishes

Other popular programmes which are returning for new series include comedy Peep Show and The Friday Night Project.

One of the show's hosts, Justin Lee Collins, will embark upon a quest to reunite the cast of the Star Wars film franchise.

Kevin Bishop
Star Stories' Kevin Bishop will star in a self-titled comedy show

A ninth series of Big Brother will be screened with regular host Davina McCall - but Channel 4 has yet to reveal the details of this year's format.

Popular daytime show Come Dine With Me will return in an evening slot, kicking off with a celebrity edition featuring former G4 frontman Jonathan Ansell.

Other well-known shows due to return include How To Look Good Naked and Gordon Ramsay's F-Word.

Blumenthal, who has become famous for his "gastronomic alchemy" with creations including snail porridge, will also revive a series of historical dishes.

Feast With Heston Blumenthal will be screened later this year along with a Christmas special.

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