Gordon Ramsay ready to dish the dirt on his kitchen rivals

By Guy Adams

It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I can report that the most colourful chef in modern times has signed a deal with HarperCollins to publish his autobiography.

At the age of 38, Glasgow-born Ramsay has seen more disputes than most public figures twice his age. Recent sparring-partners range from Antony Worrall Thompson and Edwina Currie to Ainsley Harriott and Joan Collins.

But it's Ramsay's former mentor, Marco Pierre White, who will take the keenest interest in what he's got to say. The pair worked together at Harvey's in Wandsworth before falling out over a business deal a few years back

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Ramsay said the seeds of their dispute were sown when MP-W unsucessfully challenged him to an arm-wrestling match. "He went mad and ripped the table up, but I'd beaten him," he recalled.

At the launch of the television channel More4 on Thursday, he promised that the memoir would lift the lid on further gory details behind their row.

"If you think that interview was bad, you should wait to for my memoirs," he said. "I saw things that went on in that kitchen that you wouldn't believe."

Publishing sources said yesterday that Ramsay had signed a "high six-figure" deal for the book, and was dictating his manuscript on to a Dictaphone.

* When he isn't making quirky comedy films, Woody Allen spends much of his free time tootling away on a clarinet.

Until now, those who wanted to see him in action have usually been forced to visit New York, where he occasionally performs at the Café Carlyle.

But that's about to change. For I gather that Allen has agreed to appear in concert this Christmas at Annabel's nightclub.

Robin Birley, the son of the club's founder Mark, persuaded Allen to do the gig after Annabel's was used as a location in his latest flick.

"I knew he'd got a jazz band, so asked nicely when he was filming here and he said yes," Birley tells me. "It's just the sort of music I like, because it creates a sort of uproar."

One prominent member of Annabel's, David Blunkett, is unlikely to attend. He said last week that he "wouldn't be returning" to the posh club, after his antics there put his private life on the front pages again.

* The BBC is making a valiant effort to rejuvenate Top of the Pops, but is their policy of bringing in ageing co-presenters a step too far?

Jeremy Bowen thinks not. As well he might, since the 45-year-old newsman is one of the incongruous beneficiaries of the new regime.

"It's now being marketed as a family show, so the guest presenter is presumably meant to appeal to the parents," he tells me.

"I grew up watching it but long ago realised I would never make it on as a singer or musician so it was great fun and interesting to do it. If they asked me to do it again, I wouldn't say no." Rock on!

* Another day, another cheap shot at a Tory leadership candidate lands on Pandora's desk. This time it's aimed at Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

In a speech last week, Rifkind took a pop at Tony Blair's record on public services. "Under Labour, we've seen years of missed opportunities," he said. "Labour's failed to make lasting improvements in the public services."

All well and good, but sources who may - or may not - be connected to rival candidates think it "strange" that Sir Malcolm didn't refer to the special help he's been giving the Labour Government on public services.

"Rifkind is, among his many directorships, the chairman of a private firm called Alliance Medical, which runs scanning machines," says one.

"Last year, health minister John Hutton gave Rifkind's company a £95m contract to do scans for the NHS," it notes. "So it's more than a little bit rich for him to moan that they aren't investing wisely."

* There is another delightful controversy surrounding Professor Stephen Hawking's recent cameo appearance on The Simpsons. Last year, the prize-winning physicist's wife, Elaine, told me she had serious reservations about an episode in the show depicting electro-convulsive shock therapy being used to treat schizophrenia.

Now Richard Madeley - who interviewed Hawking for an upcoming episode of his chat show - has stumbled upon another talking-point.

"He said lots of interesting things," reports Madeley. "That there was no afterlife, that we were stupid to try to think about anything that preceded the big bang, and that he didn't like the way he'd been drawn on The Simpsons.

"He seems to be pissed off - but in a nice way. I think it was because they didn't make his face as yellow as all the other characters."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue