Scientist-turned-chef Heston Blumenthal will attempt to reverse the fortunes of the Little Chef chain of motorway restaurants for a new TV show.

Little Chef, which was rescued from financial collapse by venture capitalists last year, is best known for its breakfast fry-ups.

But now the British chef, whose culinary creations include snail porridge, is hoping to transform the eatery in a new Channel 4 series, given the working title Big Chef, Little Chef.

Sue Murphy, Channel 4’s head of features, said the gastronomic alchemist would aim to bring the chain into the 21st century in the series.

She said: “Nothing is safe. It will be a complete opportunity for reinvention. Knowing Heston’s reputation I wouldn’t put it past him to try and reinvent it (the Olympic breakfast and Jubilee pancake).”

Murphy added that Blumenthal was “personally quite nostalgic” for Little Chef’s glory days and “wouldn’t be coming at it from a sneering perspective”.

He will initially take over one establishment in the chain to test out his ideas. If successful, his meals will be rolled out across all restaurants.

Murphy denied the show would be a ‘puff’ for Little Chef, which she hailed as “once a much-loved but now slightly maligned British institution”.

Channel 4 has signed a two-year, exclusive deal with Blumenthal.

Other programmes include Feast With Heston Blumenthal, a series in which he travels back in time to reinvent classic dishes.