I KNOW Gordon Ramsay has his fair share of haters, but I'm not one of them.
I didn't just feel sorry for him during Sunday night's star-studded biennial Soccer Aid match in aid of Unicef, I was worried sick. The Shar Pei-faced TV chef was smashed into by former Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham, who knocked Ramsay flat on his front, crushing him in the process.
Had he not been so busy wincing in pain, I'm sure he would've uttered a string of profanities: Instead, the chef looked truly hurt – and didn't get up. Sheringham gave him an unsympathetic, patronising pat on the face and within minutes a team of people were assessing him and giving him oxygen. He was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, by which point Sheringham looked sheepish and concerned.
Thankfully, Ramsay is sore but well; but shame on Sheringham. It was a cheap shot – from a former professional footballer no less – and this was a charity match. To then mock him was below the belt.
What shocked me was the vitriolic remarks and jokes about Ramsay circulating on Twitter. Even if you hate him, he didn't deserve that.
Ramsay is one of my culinary TV heroes. Of all the reality TV shows out there, Kitchen Nightmares is one I'm yet to tire off. It's developed into more than just putting failing restaurants back on the right track; he also helps sort out the troubled relationships of desperate proprietors. He may take the tough love approach but he gets results. He's a bossyboots with culinary acumen, whose expletive-laden honesty and determination win me over every time.
As one of these restaurant owners said last week: "You change lives, Gordon." And I couldn't agree more.
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