MIPCOM ’17: Gordon Ramsay talks life behind and in front of the camera

Despite all the success and fame that producer and chef Gordon Ramsay has accumulated over the past two and a half decades, he’s not one to rest on his laurels. “Coming up ...
October 16, 2017

Despite all the success and fame that producer and chef Gordon Ramsay has accumulated over the past two and a half decades, he’s not one to rest on his laurels.

“Coming up with that next cutting-edge idea is what keeps me up all night,” Ramsay told an audience during a keynote speech at the 2017 MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France Monday (Oct. 16).

The session saw Ramsay reflect on his on-screen career which now boasts eight television shows on the U.S. Fox Network (including Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen and the upcoming 24 Hours To Hell & Back); as well as his 2016 joint venture with All3Media to launch Studio Ramsay which aims at creating food-focused content.

As the owner of 31 restaurants worldwide, Ramsay said there are similarities to running successful restaurants and television shows – both need to remain fresh.

“You have to be the next best thing, you have to raise the bar,” he said.

As someone who said he thrives under pressure and needs to be “where the heartbeat is,”  Ramsay took to the jungles of Colombia for his upcoming ITV docuseries Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine. The two-part project looks at the widespread use of the drug and its destructive impact, which the chef said is still rampant in the food industry.

“It bugs that hell out of me when chefs have this rock and roll image. It’s bullshit,” he said.

Turning behind the scenes, Ramsay said his relationship with indie UK producer and distributor All3Media gives him the opportunity to see what cutting-edge ideas he can bring to the table and how far they will travel around the world.

“I am the biggest pain in the ass in the world when it comes to that level of development because I want the very best,” he said.

In a media roundtable that followed the keynote, Ramsay shed more light on Studio Ramsay’s plans, which include a potential move into scripted, food-related drama and comedy as well as extensive format development. And beyond the production company, even with some 2,000 hours of Gordon Ramsay content airing over the course of a year around the world, the busy multi-hyphenate said he still sees opportunity to extend his television footprint.

“When it’s good, they’re going to watch,” he told realscreen. “I’ll use the synergy with restaurants – customers vote with their feet and viewers vote with the [remote] control.

“When I’m ready to step down and get more creative behind the scenes, I have my 15-year-old daughter, Matilda, ready to take over,” he joked. “And the earlier she does that, the better.”

Praising such culinary content staples as Top Chef, Bake Off and the U.S. and Australian versions of MasterChef, Ramsay said the food genre is in good health but there is still room for innovation.

“I think it’s lazy to copy, but it’s exciting to develop,” he said. As for the other series vying for the foodie audience, Ramsay admitted, “Some of them bore the crap out of me, but some of them get me really excited.”

(With files from Barry Walsh)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.