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
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?