Never believe what you see on television. Particularly if it’s Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay, out hunting rooks

I don’t know, what’s the world coming to? Blue Peter‘s being fined for faking phone quizzes. The Beeb (and RDF) has had to apologise for distorting footage of the Queen. Richard and Judy are apologising for their phone quiz. To update Sarah Jane Smith for a new medium, “Never believe what you see on television.”

Michael Grade reckons it’s all the fault of the training system in British television, which doesn’t teach young recruits that lying is wrong. You’d have thought they’d have learnt that earlier in life, but apparently not.

The very, very latest person to have to apologise for faking footage is Gordon Ramsay. Naughty old Gordon pretended to catch fish when actually he didn’t. Naughty Gordon. He’s not much different from other fishermen in exaggerating his catching prowess, but this is a Channel 4 entertainment show and higher standards are expected, apparently.

Whatever next? Big Brother distorting the footage to portray housemates in particular lights chosen by the producers? Top Gear reshooting scenes to make everything look more impressive and entertaining?

Nah. Too improbable.

It’s not going to do Gordon much good in the US of A, of course, where even before the show airs, Ramsay’s Kitchen’s Nightmares (US) is being accused of faking footage by one of the people featured in it. Ouch. Who’s going to believe him now when he claims it all happened just as you saw on TV, honest m’lord?

Ironically for me, no matter whether he faked the catching of fish or not, Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word did have one effect on me this series – for the last month, I’ve been vegetarian, thanks to Gordon killing off anything that moves in his vicinity. And that was even before he took one of his lambs off to the abattoir. I didn’t actually watch that – my wife narrated it while I hid my eyes. “Oh my God, they’re cutting it open. You can see its pancreas. God, there’s its liver.” Could I have coped with seeing it? Not a chance. Poor little lambs.

PETA, I know you think Gordon is the enemy, so chose to dump all that stuff on his doorstep, but as you’ve now realised, he’s actually doing your work for you…


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

    View all posts