All3Media thought close to buying Optomen

TV outfit behind 'Kitchen Nightmares' and 'The F Word'

LONDON -- Is Gordon Ramsay up for sale? Word on the street in London is that the Optomen Television, the production company behind "Kitchen Nightmares" and "The F Word" could be about to be snapped up by private-equity owned production giant All3Media.

Optomen, which also reps top chef and food geek Heston Blumenthal, launched a joint venture production company One Potato Two Potato with Ramsay two years ago and works exclusively with the no-nonsense and often brutally critical chef.

Optomen is also behind the British show "Mary Queen of Shops" and a variety of hits including "Worst Cooks In America."

A deal with All3Media, the umbrella prodco which counts teen drama "Skins," and long running ITV crime show "Midsomer Murders" among its key brands would give Optomen a strong parent group as well as access to an international distribution.

Talks between the two companies have not been confirmed by either party, but Optomen is understood to have talked to a number of parties about a possible sale.