CELEBRITY chef royalty paid a visit to a renowned oysterman in an exciting television show due to be released next week.

Last year the Gazette exclusively revealed Gordon Ramsay had visited Mersea Island to film his BBC show Future Film Stars in July.

He teamed up with Tom Haward, the owner of historic business Richard Haward's Oysters, to come up with an oyster-themed challenge for contestants to participate in.

Challengers taking part in the show are battling it out for a £125,000 investment which will grow their small businesses into something they can only dream of.

And Mr Haward, an eighth generation oysterman, played his part in ensuring contestants got down and dirty during the challenge he laid on in Mersea’s waters.

Gazette: Duo - Gordon Ramsay and Tom HawardDuo - Gordon Ramsay and Tom Haward

It is now set to air on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday (May 5).

Mr Haward, 40, joked Mersea islanders will be “swearing” at him for bringing even more attention to the already popular island.

He said: “The great thing about it all was speaking to him [Gordon] off camera. You can understand why he’s such a successful businessman just by talking with him.

“He affirmed to me how well we are doing as a small business and gave me ideas on how we could expand in ways we had never thought of.

“Most importantly though he was just a lovely guy who showed genuine interest in us, our story and our future.

Gazette: Effort - the pair get their hands dirty in MerseaEffort - the pair get their hands dirty in Mersea

“You think about very, very famous people and you wonder what they are really like, and Gordon was great.”

The oysterman explained he and his staff avoided being given an iconic dressing down by the celebrity chef who is renowned for often lambasting those working in his kitchen.

He added: “He’s still got colourful language off camera though, but then again so do I.

“But what was nice is we have had celebrities come here and film but haven’t been interested in us at all, this wasn’t the case with Gordon.

“I’m really looking forward to watching the show, it was great for us and will be fantastic publicity to help keep us moving after the pandemic.”