6 items from 2011
Despite disappointing ratings for Gordon's Great Escape, broadcaster understood to have agreed in principle to contract
Despite his latest series, Gordon's Great Escape, not performing as well as expected, the broadcaster wants to keep him on and he is understood to have agreed in principle to a new contract, although the deal has yet been signed.
Unlike his previous multi-year deals, Channel 4 offered Ramsay a one-year extension to his golden handcuffs deal.
It is understood that Ramsay had exploratory conversations with ITV – which makes his hit Us show Hell's Kitchen – but has decided to re-sign to Channel 4.
Ramsay's current deal expires next month and according to sources the final details of the new contract, thought to be worth just under £1m, will be sorted out when he returns to the UK in a couple of weeks. »
- Tara Conlan
The sweary chef has lost his ratings mojo. So does Gordon's Great Escape mark the moment that television viewers stopped caring about Ramsay?
The third episode of Gordon Ramsay's new series Gordon's Great Escape aired last night. You probably didn't watch it. Why would you? Just look at what it was up against. The new Adam Curtis documentary. Game of Thrones. The ITV series about Strangeways. A show about special ambulances for fat people. The episode of Glee where they sing that Rebecca Black song. Alongside televisual titans like these, no wonder people aren't tuning in.
This hasn't always been the case. Not so long ago, a Gordon Ramsay series would be all but guaranteed success. Hell's Kitchen made him a star. Kitchen Nightmares demonstrated his flair as a restaurateur. The stunts Ramsay pulled in The F Word made for constant headline fodder.
But Gordon's Great Escape has been met with almost blanket apathy. »
- Stuart Heritage
The Shadow Line (BBC2) | iPlayer
Crimewatch Special: Catch Me if You Can (BBC1) | iPlayer
Hunting Britan's Most Wanted (C4) | 4Od
Jamie's Food Revolution Hits Hollywood (C4) | 4Od
Gordon's Great Escape (C4) | 4Od
The Apprentice (BBC1) | iPlayer
Three weeks in and The Shadow Line is still maintaining a strict line in the shadows. There are no concessions to convention or comprehension. Nor any truck with naturalism or plausibility – which may account for why the police station and its inhabitants appear to have been styled by Wallpaper* magazine.
Instead it's each actor for himself in the battle to see who can speak and behave in the most unsettling manner. As a result there's a lot of whispering going on. I've never heard such whispering. That's the problem with whispering, you never hear it. It must be self-conscious, »
- Andrew Anthony
Bad idea – the BBC's big society experiment leaves a community in tatters
How do you get people to watch 90 minutes of primetime television about the choices local councils face when cutting services and what David Cameron's big society might look like in practice? You turn it into a reality show. Government cuts as entertainment is both morally and factually iffy. Where do you draw the line? Three contestants competing to get one donor heart? And even if you're happy with the ethics, reality shows thrive on human narratives largely created in the editing suite; the viewer can never be sure just what has been left on the cutting-room floor or to what extent the participants are playing to the camera. But by the end of The Street That Cut Everything (BBC1) the means probably just about justified the ends.
The idea was simple. Initially, too simple. Withdraw all services from »
- John Crace
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has come under fire from animal rights campaigners after eating a snake heart in his latest TV show.
The TV personality was filmed downing the heart of a cobra in a snake restaurant in Vietnam as part of his series Gordon's Great Escape, which airs in the U.K. on Monday.
Ramsay is warned he will feel the organ beating in his stomach for several minutes afterwards as he admits, "The thought of eating that turns my stomach."
The episode has not gone down well with animal rights activists at U.K. charity Animal Aid, who have branded Ramsay's stunt "cruel, attention-seeking (and) sick".
Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler adds, "It's an awful and vicious thing to do to an animal and Gordon Ramsay is complicit in it.
"He's made sick entertainment out of this animal's suffering to make himself look interesting but I think he's just an inadequate creature."
A spokesperson for the Channel 4 network insists, "Viewers are made aware before the start of the programme that some sequences feature animal slaughter." »
Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks; The Golden Age Of Canals
8.30pm; 9pm, BBC4
An appealing documentary on the history of the UK's man-made waterways since the second world war is preceded by Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks, which this week takes in the Kennet & Avon canal linking Bristol to London. She starts in Bath and heads towards Devizes, via the Caen Hill locks, an incredible feat of Victorian engineering. But her presenting style is too urgent and thrusting for a lovely ambient programme about rambling. It needs a straight Julia-for-John-Craven swap; she's all hi-tech Lycra. Craven would do it in cord slacks and a nice red jumper.
The Street That Cut Everything
The residents of a street in Preston are refunded their council tax and challenged »
- Julia Raeside, Ali Catterall, David Stubbs, Phelim O'Neill
6 items from 2011
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