Ramsay dismisses TV swearing row

SYDNEY Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:01am BST

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stands in the kitchen of his new restaurant ''Gordon Ramsay at the London'' at the London NYC Hotel in New York, November 16, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stands in the kitchen of his new restaurant ''Gordon Ramsay at the London'' at the London NYC Hotel in New York, November 16, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Volatile British master chef Gordon Ramsay on Friday played down controversy in Australia over his foul language on television, saying he had no intention of changing his outspoken style.

The Australian Senate or upper house, which carried out an inquiry into Ramsay's swearing, urged television networks on Thursday to upgrade the way they warn viewers of coarse material and deal with viewers' complaints.

But Ramsay, in Australia for a series of cooking shows in Sydney, was unapologetic. He said his television programmes, which are ratings winners in Australia, show the real pressures of working in a restaurant kitchen.

"I want to run a proper kitchen with a pair of bollocks, not stand there and wish everybody a merry Christmas and pat them on the back every time they do a good job," Ramsay told the Nine Network on Friday.

"It's high pressure, high energy and more importantly, real. That's how we keep it each and every day."

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen programmes, broadcast on Nine, are among the most popular shows on Australian television.

The Senate inquiry was prompted by one episode aired earlier this year in which Ramsay used a four-letter expletive more than 80 times in 40 minutes.

Ramsay appeared at a function for the Sydney Food and Wine show later on Friday, where he light-heartedly chided the Nine Network.

"I'd like to give channel Nine a big telling off for making my name bad in Australia. Has no one got an edit suite and not broadcasting those naughty words before nine o'clock? I'm getting the flak for it everywhere I go".

After his remarks, Ramsay was presented with a "swear jar" and invited to put in a penny every time he used bad language. Thanking his hosts, he dropped the jar which smashed on the floor, prompting a flood of swearwords.

(Reporting by James Grubel; editing by Roger Crabb)

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