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?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Clean energy should be our mission to the moon

Martin Rees
Angela Merkel and David Cameron say goodbye in the Bundeskanzleramt after their meeting in Berlin, Germany, 29 May 2015  

The complacency of Europhiles could lose them the referendum

Steve Richards
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral