The BBC says it is disappointed that it was forced to cancel its latest reality TV cooking series starring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay because of poor viewer reception.
Ramsay has previously been a popular star on British TV and in other world markets and is best known for his fiery temper and verbal abuse of kitchen staff and others.
“Gordon has had a good run with previous series such as Hell’s Kitchen, The F Word, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, and appearances on MasterChef, and Hotel Hell,” head of BBC cooking programs Dee Glaze said.
“In those earlier series viewers loved the way he flew off the handle and swore at and abused those who had done something wrong or stupid in his kitchen,” Ms Glaze said.
“But in this day and age it’s not really politically correct for someone in authority in a workplace to verbally tears strips off staff in a way that brings them to tears.
“So we tried a different approach in the latest series, Heaven’s Kitchen. We commissioned 12 episodes of the new show and Gordon doesn’t abuse, threaten, or raise his voice to anyone in any of the shows.
“In fact it’s the exact opposite. Whenever anything goes wrong or someone buggers up in the kitchen, Gordon holds his tongue and his temper.
“Instead of erupting like a foul-mouthed volcano he instead calls the kitchen staff together, lights some scented candles and an oil burner, sprinkles lavender blooms on a bench (main picture), and then in a soft and soothing voice he asks all the staff to close their eyes and meditate on what had just gone wrong.
“After several minutes of silence Gordon calmly explains that although an error has been made it is really nobody’s fault.
“He and the staff then huddle for a group hug, again in silence, before breaking up and quietly getting back to work.”
Ms Glaze said the “old Gordon” would spend 90% of a show yelling and abusing people and 10% actually doing some cooking but in Heaven’s Kitchen those proportions were effectively reversed.
“Unfortunately our research shows that viewers, despite claiming the ‘old Gordon’ was just over the top, didn’t like his new approach,” she said.
“They tuned in to see the first episode expecting the usual workplace fireworks but then became disappointed and switched channels soon after it started and never came back.
“Viewing figures plummeted during the premiere episode and kept getting worse in the second show so that by the third episode pretty much nobody was watching. We had no choice but to pull the plug and the remaining nine episodes have been shelved indefinitely.
“Producers were apprehensive about breaking the news to Gordon but when they did he calmly accepted the decision, thanked all those who had been involved in developing and producing Heaven’s Kitchen, and said he would be happy to offer his services in any way on any new project if the BBC still thought him worthy.
“Then he shook hands with all of members of the production team and walked out of the office and gently closed the door behind him, but not before calling them and the viewers cunts,” Ms Glaze said.