Gordon Ramsay

Where there’s fire, there’s smoke

One of my old QUT lecturers reckons the Gordon Ramsay v Tracy Grimshaw feud is either a set up or being exploited by Channel Nine. I’m not so sure – but it could just be a smoke and mirrors ratings grab… he makes an interesting case.

Dr Jason Sternberg, a media lecturer at QUT, said with A Current Affair and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares both being Channel Nine programs, it was possible the whole controversy had been set up in advance.

“A cynic would suggest it was contrived, that there are some pretty clever PR people out there,” Dr Sternberg said.

“And you’re dealing with A Current Affair, so it’s safe to be cynical. They are the masters of underhanded and dirty tactics.

“I would not be surprised (if it was), but there’s no evidence to suggest that.”

Stable mates

Gordon Ramsay made a bit of a splash by insulting his Channel Nine compatriot Tracy Grimshaw. This can go one of two ways – the “all publicity is good publicity” way will keep him in the public eye and generate some buzz for his new restaurant – he can appear to be bravely raging against the network machine, or, he gets hammered by the press, loses his slots on Channel Nine, his restaurant fails and his star fades. So far it’s looking like heading down the latter path.

It was either a gross tactical error or the start of a Symondesque piece of career sabotage.

What he said wasn’t nice. It was a purile bid for some “sensational” media coverage. He’s gone the way of the Chaser, and thus been “unfanned” on my Facebook profile.

Picking on your colleagues at a television network is an odd move. But, and I’m not in anyway condoning the treatment Grimshaw received, she’d be hypocritical to make that point after her editorialising the Matthew Johns saga the way she did. There are no doubt some Matthew Johns fans feeling pretty smug today.

I saw Ramsay on the Today Show on Friday morning and he was pretty rude there too, perhaps he’s sick of the constant cross promotion he’s been forced to do on his tour.

Underbelly Creep

Channel 9 (and regional counterparts WIN) seems determined to force as much Underbelly down our throats as they can through a diet of cross-promotion and re-runs.

Last week they ran a two minute news story in the Queensland statewide news about the fact that the happenings documented in Underbelly were real. They happened 30 years ago. I thought news was meant to be timely.

Seven’s relentless cross promotion of their programming during the Australian Open was bad enough.

But this constant diet of Underbelly takes the cake. It was even featured on Getaway tonight. With a Sydney restaurant that’s a regular feature in the new series.

It’ll be on Here’s Humphrey next in the one where Humphrey gets whacked by a gangster, or the cast will bring a famous Mafia pasta dish to the set of Fresh.

What took the cake for me was last night’s A Current Affair. I try not to watch it often. But last night it looked like they were going to have something serious to say about the Pakistani terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers.

But no – it was about the “seedy underbelly” of Pakistani cricket – lumping terrorism, match fixing and corruption into a package that used the word Underbelly about eight times – and then even showed a clip from the show.

This Sunday morning Underbelly is the advertised feature of the Today Show.

Underbelly is this year’s Gordon Ramsay – and we all know what happened to him. He appears to have been ignominiously pulled from Channel 9’s Thursday schedule, and his family man image is damaged beyond repair. That’s what happens when Nine flog you to death.

No doubt the Footy Show will also have an Underbelly themed segment next Thursday night. And then it will all start over again when there are DVDs to sell.

Scroll to Top