Gordon Ramsay has vowed to cut out the strong language.
He reckons that at 43 he's now too old for the four-letter tirades. The cocky chef has also decided to ease up on bullying the owners of dodgy diners on screen.
Gordon said he
counted 298 'fucks' when two episodes of Kitchen Nightmares were condensed into one last year. He said: I wasn't proud of that. There has come a time when I'm getting a bit tired of the foul-mouthed bully chef.
admitted he won't be able to axe the F-words completely and turn into a touchy-feely chef.
Gordon's long-standing cooking colleague and Hell's Kitchen star Angela Hartnett urged him to soften his image. She said: People don't like the
aggression so much. They no longer want to see him or Simon Cowell make people cry.
Ramsays Great British Nightmare Channel 4, 30 January 2009, 21:00 - 23:00
Ramsay’s Great British Nightmare follows the chef, Gordon Ramsay, as he takes on failing restaurants and attempts to turn them around. He tackles amongst
other things, poor management, inferior cooking and unacceptable levels of hygiene.
Ofcom received 51 complaints from viewers about the programme broadcast on 30 January 2009 from 21:00. They objected to the frequency and sustained nature of the
use of the most offensive language (i.e . “fuck”, “fucking” and “fucked”).
Ofcom noted that the first two parts of the programme, broadcast between 21:00 and 21:40, contained 115 instances of the most offensive language.
Rule 2.3 of the Code (offensive content must be justified by context).
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3
In assessing the wider context of this programme, Ofcom noted that:
the channel provided pre-transmission information about the level of language in the programme: “strong language from the start and throughout”
this was a two hour programme compared to the usual one hour
the contributors as well as
Gordon Ramsay used the most offensive language;
offensive language was often used at times of emotion and stress which typifies the series as a whole.
The likely audience expectation for this programme
Ofcom recognised that Ramsay’s Great British Nightmare differed slightly from the usual Kitchen Nightmares strand in as much as it was a two hour special featuring not one but two failing restaurants. The result was that parts one and
two of the programme where Gordon Ramsay traditionally gives his unvarnished opinion - and which often results in confrontation - was twice as long. As a consequence this amplified significantly the effect of the language on the viewer.
programme’s well-established reputation for using the most offensive language, Ofcom accepts that the vast majority of the audience comes to the programme with certain expectations. However, on this occasion there were 115 examples of the most offensive
language i.e. “fuck” and its derivatives, in the first 40 minutes of the programme. In the first 15 minutes there were a total of 37 examples. The second part of the programme, between 21:20 and 21:40, contained a further 78 examples. Ofcom also noted
that much of the offensive language was delivered in an extremely intense and at times aggressive manner. The most aggressive scene, which Channel 4 admits contributed to the overall tally of strong language in the programme, occurred in part two of the
programme where, at approximately 21:30, a restaurant chef angrily berated his boss shouting the word “fucking” at him 30 times in less than two minutes.
The broadcaster and the audience has a right to freedom of expression. Importantly, the
programme purports to show real life situations and record them as they unfold. (However, we note that in the acquired American version of this programme Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA, the level of strong language is considerably less, but in very
similar intense circumstances). As Channel 4 points out the audience expects to see the drama and conflict played out before some form of resolution is reached. Therefore, to limit completely the transmission of a programme such as this would be a
disproportionate restriction and could result in a chilling effect on broadcasters’ output. Nevertheless, freedom of expression may be limited and should at all times be balanced by the requirement on the part of the broadcaster to apply generally
accepted standards to ensure adequate protection for members of the public from offensive material. In Ofcom’s view, by broadcasting this particular programme at this time after the watershed, Channel 4 did not apply generally accepted standards. This is
due to the unexpected and sheer intensity and level of swearing in the first two parts of the programme. The strong language had not been used as a comedic device or as part of a characterisation but was at times extremely aggressive and, as described by
complainants, “gratuitous” and “unreal”. Ofcom therefore concluded that it was not warranted since there was not sufficient editorial justification or context in this programme for the level and intensity of swearing in the first two parts of the
programme, transmitted between 21:00 and 21:40.
The audience has a good understanding that as the evening progresses the context changes and material is likely to become more challenging and may contain frequent and strong language. However,
where viewers have established expectations for a particular programme, at a particular time, broadcasters should carefully consider the impact of any significant editorial changes which may subsequently challenge those expectations. It was clear to
Ofcom that the frequency and nature of the most offensive language in the earlier parts of this programme and at the time it was broadcast deviated seriously and significantly from previous editions, because this was the first time Channel 4 had
broadcast a two hour edition of Ramsay’s Great British Nightmare , starting at 21:00. As a direct consequence the scale, frequency and way in which the most offensive language was delivered in the first two parts of this programme, went
significantly beyond what could be reasonably anticipated by regular viewers - at this time of the evening – and resulted in a breach of the Code.
The Mirror is reporting about viewers fury at 312 swear words in 103 mins including Gordon Ramsay's 240 used of 'fuck'
Viewers were said to have flooded Channel 4 with complaints after Friday's Gordon's Great British
And it all came on the same day the fiery chef promised not to swear on the US version of his live cookalong show for fear of upsetting American viewers.
Ramsay's show on Friday drew three million viewers and went out just
after the 9pm watershed with a warning about strong language.
Labour MP Denis MacShane said: Gordon Ramsay might be a good chef, but he is a terrible role model to every child and adolescent in Britain. He is giving two-fingers to people who
care about the English language. Channel 4 should give Britain a break from this foul-mouthed soup-stirrer. This is a clear breach of Ofcom's rules on swearing and it should launch an investigation into the programme immediately.
Don Foster said: This is getting beyond a joke. When you hear about this much swearing in a single programme, you're tempted to utter an expletive yourself. We have got to tone it down because bad language on TV is seeping into society.
Ofcom spokesman said they were unable to comment on complaints received over the weekend until next week.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: Gordon Ramsay is a well-known TV personality and viewers know what to expect. The swearing was a genuine
expression of his passion and frustration.