ALL hail international superstar Gordon Ramsay! (Gordon Behind Bars, Channel 4, Tuesday).
It seems that Mr Sweary no longer needs to use his full name or surname, so we can only assume he can now be filed alongside the likes of Kylie and Madonna.
And, of course, Sonia.
It would be easy to dismiss this four-part series as a half-baked idea which was dreamt up to get the short-fuse chef’s face on the box, in the hope that fireworks (as well as four-letter words) would be fired off right, left and centre.
But, as well as all the entertaining swearing, there was also an educational element to this first, mainly scene-setting, programme.
Ramsay has given himself six months inside Brixton Prison (well, he hasn’t been kipping there) to see if he can get a group of inmates to set up a catering business.
Basically, he wants prisoners – or, at least, 12 of them – to get off their backsides so they can (here comes the catchy soundbite) “learn and earn.”
The classic sitcom Porridge was criticised by some for portraying a sanitised view of prison life but, on the evidence of this opener, real inmates have it much cushier than the fictional Fletcher, Godber and Co.
Watching TV all night and then not having to work during the day? Some people on the outside aspire to such a lazy lifestyle.
Ramsay began his task with an audition – he asked a group of prisoners interested in signing up to his scheme to make him scrambled eggs. The results were not good – summed up by one inmate’s verdict on his own creation: “It’s f*****g filth, isn’t it?”
But it was interesting to note that hard man Ramsay saved his most vitriolic criticism for the voice over studio (he’s obviously not stupid).
“This lot can’t tell their a**e from their elbow,” he told us, out of earshot of the prisoners.
The chef eventually reduced his number of would-be caterers from 22 to 12, but stressed: “It’s been hard to get 12 because they are all the same – they are all s***!”
Again, this was not said to their faces – and it would also have been interesting to see him, or anyone, break the news to the rejects.
But we didn’t.
In a show packed with hilarious quotes, most of them involving swear words, the best – and, perhaps, most revealing – came following a conversation the chef had with Darrell Hatfield, who’s in charge of the prison kitchen and its daily, five-choice menu.
Ramsay said: “He says ‘customers’ – I say ‘prisoners’. He says ‘choices’ – I say ‘f*** off!’”
Very funny, but, again, he didn’t say it to his face.
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