Ramsay vows to forswear bad language after he gets the brush-off from Australia

His name has long been synonymous with abuse, asterisks and four-letter words, but Gordon Ramsay has had a dramatic change of heart on swearing. In a move that will have diners choking on their oven-roasted Bresse pigeon, he plans to ban foul language in all his restaurants, whether in the kitchens or the dining areas.

All over his considerable gastronomic empire, from his flagship eaterie in Chelsea to his controversial Gordon Ramsay New York, to his newest venture in Paris, opened to huge fanfares last week, and his Plane Food place in the bedevilled Terminal Five, the ban will come into operation on 1 May.

Assistant chefs and waiters will face disciplinary one-on-one "exercise" sessions with Ramsay, and diners will be fined £5 (or $11 or €7), for any outbreak of effing, blinding or c-word in public. Four years ago, Ramsay installed closed-circuit TV in all his UK restaurants to improve waiter service, and it has even been suggested that he has had sensitive microphones installed in his tables, to pick up sotto voce cursing. The reason for this dramatic turnaround is not hard to find. It follows the crushing news that Ramsay's application to open a new establishment in Sydney – his first in Australia – has been turned down by the city authorities, on grounds of "decency".

"We are not prudes, God knows," said Senator Drew Stockman, 61, "and we have no problem with vigorous language, where appropriate. But we feel that allowing this sweary fellow to bring his bilious obscenities to Sydney's Harbourfront is a step in the wrong direction. Australia is changing. The old stereotypes have been supplanted by a new sophistication and dignity. And frankly, Gordon Ramsay has no part of it. The only Ramsay we want around here is the street in Neighbours."

This is not the first time Ramsay has fallen foul of Australian fastidiousness. Only 10 days ago, a motion was introduced in the federal Parliament, calling for a review of the broadcasting code of conduct, after an episode of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, in which the chef swore more than 80 times, was broadcast on Channel 9. "There is no justification for the use of such language in the public arena, particularly by our free-to-air broadcasters," said Corey Bernardi, 58, a Liberal senator.

Ramsay, understandably, did not take the news with stoic resignation. "He was hopping mad for an hour or so," said a spokesman. "He called the Senate and the federal government ... certain names. He pointed out, quite rightly, that the whole thrust of Australia's new tourism initiative is based on swearing, what with that 'Where the bloody hell are you?' routine.

"But I think Gordon has been forced to take stock of his reputation for verbal violence. Is it right that he should be associated in the public mind with rude words as much as with sublime cooking? All that's going to change. There's a new, mature, more approachable Gordon Ramsay inside him that the world hasn't yet seen, and it's one that won't go around turning the air blue all the time."

Ramsay cut his teeth in the late 1980s, working with the famously irascible Marco Pierre White at Harvey's in south London, until he tired of "the rages and the bullying and violence". His first sighting by the British TV audience was in a fly-on-the-wall documentary called Boiling Point, in which his startlingly colourful language made him an overnight celebrity. Since then, he has capitalised on his potty mouth, giving his TV series the ambiguous title of The F-Word (the other word being Food.) Even his last book was confusingly titled *** Chef. Did it mean "Three [Michelin star] Chef"? Or did the asterisks indicate a rude three-letter word? Is there one?

Ramsay fans are finding it hard to believe the former footballer's trademark four-letter rants will cease. "Gordon just won't be Gordon without the repertoire of fucks," said his former Channel 4 producer, Dominic Easby. "He'll be in danger of losing his unique selling proposition. I sincerely hope he'll reconsider this disastrous re-branding."

Others are dismayed. "I've never heard such rampant hypocrisy," said Anthony Harper-Smith, who recently took over as head chef at Le Lapin Enorme in Kensington. "For years and years, he's sworn at everyone like a Folkstone docker, and now he's going to charge people for saying 'bastard' in his restaurants? I can't believe anyone will fall for this."

Last night Ramsay was not available for comment, obscene or otherwise.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Year 4 Teacher required for 2 terms

£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

Accounts Assistant - Sales Ledger, Sage Line 50 - St Albans

£20000 - £22000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and w...

EBD Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?