Gordon Ramsay's shows make a real difference...unlike The Great British Bake Off

While it’s fair to say that Gordon is a bit of a jerk, at least he goes out into the real world and helps people through his programmes

Share
Related Topics

Chef Ramsay may be a foul-mouthed egomaniac with a forehead like a freshly ploughed field, but he certainly doesn’t deserve Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry’s hatred.

In a recent interview with the Radio Times; the 78 year-old presenter seemingly described all programmes that aren’t Great British Bake Off as ‘violent, cruel and noisy’. Harsh terms indeed, particularly given the fact that the broad boundaries of her disapproval could theoretically include things like Sean the Sheep, Blue Peter and Scooby Doo.

However, it’s more likely that those three words were aimed at Gordon Ramsay, as Mary then went on to say that she ‘hated’ his programmes, implying that she dislikes his use of - ahem - ‘colourful’ language. It’s a very weak and archaic reason to write someone off, though to be fair the whole interview reads like it’s been broadcast from another century.

While it’s fair to say that Gordon is a bit of a jerk, at least he goes out into the real world and helps people through his programmes. He isn’t peddling sugary televisual methadone designed to make viewers believe that they’re living in a twee, post-war fantasy land.

Outside the grounds of the stately homes where the GBBO producers plonk their cake tent, things have never been worse. As of May 2013, youth unemployment stands at 21.4 per cent; small businesses are closing their doors at an unprecedented rate and cuts to rehabilitation services mean that securing a post-prison job may soon be an impossible dream for many ex-offenders.

Gordon’s shows, while obviously offering him a vehicle for self-promotion and associated profit, at least attempt to tackle some of these issues instead of perpetuating the myth that everything is jolly lovely and that a freshly baked scone can solve any problem imaginable. Particularly if it’s displayed on a vintage cake stand covered in doilies.  

As well as attempting to turn around failing businesses in Kitchen Nightmares and giving aspiring chefs a leg up in Hell’s Kitchen, last year Gordon set up a bakery in the basement of London’s Brixton Prison to highlight the untapped potential that many offenders could access if they were given the opportunity.

Gordon Behind Bars was a huge success, so much so that participant Anthony Kelly recently praised Ramsay, saying that he owes Gordon a lot. Thanks to the show and additional support from rehabilitation charity Anchor House, Anthony was able to secure work on his release and has even tried his hand at acting: not bad for a man who has been in and out of prison since he was 15.

The bakery Gordon founded is still going strong; in fact it’s been taken over by an organisation called Working Links and provides dozens of men from difficult backgrounds with vital training. However, Mary Berry probably doesn’t seem to realise that. She probably didn’t watch Gordon Behind Bars as, in her interview, she writes off all reality television programming as ‘ghastly’.

Maybe if she poked her head above the parapet of her spun-sugar castle for five minutes she’d see that far from being cruel, programmes like Gordon Behind Bars have a genuine, positive effect on the lives of people who aren’t receiving support anywhere else.                                            

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Pre-Sales Consultant / Presales Engineer / Sales Engineer

£55000 - £75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software House that produces ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is Europe's indust...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Technician

£17020 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Aerospace company is looki...

Recruitment Genius: Company Bookkeeper

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Bookkeeper is required to joi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Theresa May  

Instead of cracking down on racist landlords, the Government wants to introduce a law that will let them flourish

Samir Jeraj
 

No more big characters or Tory clowns like Boris Johnson. London desperately needs a boring mayor

Rachel Holdsworth
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen