In the red? Tana Ramsay surrenders her fort

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The Independent Online

Gordon Ramsay lays all before him as the heavyweight champion of Britain's burgeoning restaurant industry. Less so can be said about the business fortune of his ebullient wife Tana.

Three years ago, Tana set up a company called Red Fort, a swanky Indian-themed homeware shop next door to the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.

Unfortunately, the shop closed last week, after apparently failing to prosper. According to records at Companies House, Red Fort last filed accounts in August 2004, reporting of losses of nearly £320,000 on a debt of around £270,000.

However, Ramsay's people insist that the reason for the shop's closure was simply because she has been forced to vacate the property.

"There were no problems as such, it's just that the space is owned by the Berkeley Hotel and they wanted to take the space back," I'm told.

"I don't have all the financial information and records. I was told it was just a case of the Berkeley wanting it back.

"From our situation it has just come to a natural end. The Berkeley wanted it back and both parties were very happy with that."

If Ramsay does wish to continue the business elsewhere, she'll first need to file her most recent accounts, which are still overdue.

"I'm not sure if there'll be another Red Fort venture set up," the spokesman admits.

"That definitely hasn't been confirmed."

Berkoff in search of a new Brando

Just over 50 years since On the Waterfront made Marlon Brando an international star, Steven Berkoff wants to bring the movie to the West End.

Berkoff is currently in talks with the film's writer Budd Schulberg about the possibility of adapting the film for the London stage.

"I've been in New York meeting with Budd about it and we're hoping it will happen," he told me recently.

"I'm keen to have a crack at directing it myself, but I'm not sure who should play [Brando's character] Terry Malloy. Perhaps I should hold a nationwide search for him like Andrew Lloyd Webber has done."

If the project does get the go ahead, I hope Berkoff has more success than the film's most recent incarnation. A Broadway musical based on the film was launched in 1995 and lasted just eight performances.

Pin-up provocation

The Tories' new recruitment campaign, which shows Boris Johnson mocked up like an Andy Warhol portrait, is a poke in the eye for supporters of Liverpool football club.

Fans of their arch-rivals Manchester United wore T-shirts bearing a near-identical image to a game two years ago, not long after Boris had sanctioned a Scouse-bashing editorial in The Spectator.

"The Tories have completely nicked our idea, but we're not complaining," says one.

"We think it's hysterical. As I remember, our T-shirts ended up causing quite a bit of trouble that day, and a couple of our supporters got ejected from the ground.

"Bearing a likeness of Boris seemed to constitute incitement in Liverpool, so I'd advise them against putting any of those posters up around there for now."

Blogged down

Oh dear, more frustration in cyberspace for our swotty minister for Agriculture, David Miliband.

Earlier this year, Miliband began writing his own internet blog, a wheeze he hoped might score him brownie points with the internet community.

Unfortunately, it provoked mixed feedback. While some users complained of dull content, others chose to post offensive comments aimed in Miliband's direction.

Now he's been forced to remove a page from his departmental website after it was defaced by some of the site's visitors.

"We placed an environment contract up and invited the public to suggest improvements, but we've had to take it down," reports a source.

"Sadly some of the suggestions were, at best, unhelpful. Others were just plain juvenile."

The hounding of Vinnie Jones

Rejoice! Vinnie Jones is to act as saviour to the flagging world of greyhound racing. This week, Jones is to front a campaign aimed at getting more people down to the dog track.

"Greyhound racing is in my blood - I absolutely love it," says Jones.

"There's no better night out in the world than going to your local track. The atmosphere is brilliant.

"It's such a shame that attendances have dropped off recently but I think a lot of it is ignorance."

Jones's own association with the sport has not passed without controversy. He's currently embroiled in a row with the Irish Coursing Club, who earlier this year accused one of his hounds, Boavista, of failing a drugs test.

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