“Sounds like a threat,” my dad would say, pretty much every day as well.
If that sounded threatening then the programme title Gordon Ramsay On Cocaine (ITV) was positively menacing.
A TV chef, famous for getting angry, taking a drug that’s famous for making people angry? That’s like Tabasco sauce on a vindaloo.
Fortunately, Gordon did not indulge. Unfortunately, Gordon did bring his unique brand of bad temperedness to the war on drugs.
The famous chef is an enemy of drugs and he has good reason to be. His brother battled with heroin addiction and one of his close friends died after taking cocaine.
We saw Gordon taking test swabs in the staff and customers’ loos at one of his restaurants, all showing up positive for cocaine. Who wants that, in a business they’ve sweated blood over?
But the anger and disgust Gordon felt meant that considered thought wasn’t on the table.
He patrolled with the Bournemouth police, stopping erratic drivers and drug testing them.
The anger and disgust Gordon felt meant that considered thought wasn’t on the table
It was, admittedly, pretty depressing that two blokes, one with kids in his car and one driving to pick up his son, both tested positive for cocaine.
Gordon’s headmasterly fuming however just seemed pompous and irrelevant. He was proud, not unreasonably, of having never taken the drug himself.
That didn’t put him in the strongest position to understand people who do though. He was spot-on pointing out the deep hypocrisy of the coke-snorting middle classes.
The same people who chunter about ethical sushi and fair-trade T-shirts have no qualms about drugs brought to them by the Colombian cartels.
As Gordon’s own journey to the jungle plantations showed, there’s virtually no evil on earth, from human slavery and gang wars to prostitution, that can’t be linked back to the illegal drugs trade.
That is because it’s illegal. No one, at any stage, from Gordon’s restaurant to the analysts at the National Crime Agency to the cops chasing couriers on the London streets, made this point to Mr Ramsay.
Maybe they didn’t dare. Maybe it’s a format trick, this week the rant, next week we get the reasoned debate.
That is if we haven’t been put off by an hour of raging Ramsay missing the point.
Sue Perkins seeks answers in the East
The Ganges With Sue Perkins (BBC1) however proved delectably followable.
Having had, by her own admission, a horrible year, this travelogue sees a rather bruised version of the comedian seeking answers in the East.
We’ve wondered, here in this column if Sue’s ironic tone is right for anything other than comedy but here she’s like a less nice version of Michael Palin.
I mean “less nice” in a good way, in that she doesn’t forget to be funny or friendly but she also doesn’t shy away from the difficulties, physical and spiritual, that she’s grappling throughout.
John Lennon in the hippy-magnet town Rishikesh
In the bazaars of hippy-magnet town Rishikesh, she scoffed at the ghastly gap-year trousers on sale.
Later after meeting some Western women who lived on an ashram, she wondered if she’d been fair.
Weren’t the kids in their offensive trousers and the holy people she’d met in mountain caves all basically looking for the same thing?
Wasn’t Sue Perkins too? A true moment of enlightenment right there.