Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

May 22, 2008

Someone should tell the CMC that Gordon Ramsay's coming to Queensland!

Posted by : Michael Lund

Ever wondered why celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay gets away with swearing so much on TV?

Well a report by the University of Queensland's legal academic Dr Tamara Walsh to the Crime and Misconduct Commission review into the state's Public Nuisance Offence has some interesting reading.

In "NO OFFENCE: The enforcement of offensive language and offensive behaviour offences in Queensland" she quotes New South Wales Magistrate David Heilpern as

The word 'f**k' is extremely common place now and has lost much of its punch... In court, I am regularly confronted by witnesses who seem physically unable to speak without using the word in every sentence – it has become as common in their language as any other word and they use it without intent to offend, or without any knowledge that others would find it other than completely normal.

[My censorship of his use of the f-word.]

So that's why Ramsay gets away with it? It's just "extremely common place".

Gordon Ramsay in the Weekend Australian

Gordon Ramsay in the Weekend Australian

I laughed though when reading a feature on Ramsay in The Australian the other day. In "So you think you can swear?" (Saturday 17 May 2008), author David Meagher challenged the chef about the criticism he and Channel Nine have copped for broadcasting his bad language in both Hell's Kitchen and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

Thankfully, his words have already been censored.

"I mean, f..k me. It's an industry language and I'm not exactly proud of it and it's not purposely done to create attention. Like I said to (CEO) David Gyngell at Channel Nine (which airs two of Ramsay's food shows), 'You're the f..king broadcaster, you put it out at 8.30pm and if a chef calls me a c..t that's not my issue. And secondly, if you're not happy with it, switch the f..king thing over.'"

Good on Meagher for being brave enough to ask.

But the article goes on with more f-ing until the reveal near the end that Ramsay may consider retiring to Queensland!

"I'm 41, how long can I go at this pace? Minimum another 10 years? Then I'll f..k off to Australia and retire, then I'll do the opposite of what I've done in my career. Open a restaurant in Queensland and open the f..king thing one day a week and close six days and just open for the fun of it."

I can only hope the CMC review of the Public Nuisance Offence has considered that Ramsay may soon be a resident in the sunshine state.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.