Saturday, 19 April 2008

Gordon Ramsay

Inspired by some recent comments, I went looking for Andrew Bolt's latest missive. The idea being, of course, to disagree roundly with him in my usual indignant yet amusing fashion.

Sadly, it was not to be.

Bolt's latest is an oddly upbeat little column about celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and what an inspiring model for conservative values he is.

I don't agree with the analysis (I laughed out loud at the observation that Ramsay is not "the sharing and truly caring type we conservatives generally are and admire"), but I must admit to my own sort of fascinated-yet-wary fondness for Ramsay.

Reality television generally leaves me cold, but in Kitchen Nightmares Ramsay seems to have come up with the perfect formula. It's truly great TV, and as Bolt's article shows, strangely wide in its appeal.

But maybe it's not so strange. The characters are interesting, particularly Ramsay himself. The formula is simple, doing away with the usual gimmicky complications that dog so much of reality TV. And the conflict, which in so many other reality shows is clearly manufactured, is very very real.

I must agree with Bolt (there's a phrase I don't use too often) that Ramsay's passion for his work is truly admirable. But I think painting him as a poster boy for conservative values is going a bit far.

I really can't see John Howard sticking a Gordon Ramsay poster up next to his framed photo of Don Bradman and his signed pair of Margaret Thatcher's knickers.