The F Word

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This article is about the cooking show. For other uses, see F word.
The F Word
F Word Logo.svg
Genre Food magazine/Cooking show
Starring Gordon Ramsay
Giles Coren (Series 1–2)
Janet Street Porter
(Series 2–5)
Opening theme "The F Word" by Babybird
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 51 (Series 1–5)
Production
Running time 44 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 4
Original run 27 October 2005 – 7 January 2010
External links
Website

The F Word (also called Gordon Ramsay's F Word[1]) is a British food magazine and cookery programme featuring Chef Gordon Ramsay. The programme covers a wide range of topics, from recipes to food preparation and celebrity food fads. The programme is made by Optomen Television and aired weekly on Channel 4. The theme tune for the series is "The F-Word" from the Babybird album Bugged.

Program segments[edit]

Each episode is based around Ramsay preparing a three-course meal at the F Word restaurant for 50 guests. Diners in the restaurant include celebrities, who participate in conversations, challenges, and cook-offs with Ramsay. Other segments focus on food-related topics, such as alternative foods, healthy eating and even Ramsay himself demonstrating recipes of the courses to the home viewers.[2] Finally, there is a series-long feature on home-reared livestock or poultry that is ultimately served to F Word diners on the series finale.

Series 1[edit]

The first series was based around the "Get Women Back in the Kitchen" campaign where Ramsay visited several English households to help women who wanted to improve their culinary skills.[3] The Times' restaurant critic Giles Coren and food writer Rachel Cooke acted as field correspondents who presented reports on unique food fads and healthy eating respectively. Two or three commis (picked from a thousand applicants) squared off in each episode to earn a position at one of Ramsay's restaurants. Ramsay raised turkeys in his garden, so that his children gained a better understanding of where their food came from. Chef and television presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall regularly offered tips on raising free range turkeys. The turkeys were named after other celebrity chefs, for example, Ainsley, Antony and Nigella. The pudding (dessert) challenge regularly pitted Ramsay with a celebrity guest, with the winner having the honour of serving his or her pudding to the guests at the F-Word restaurant.

Series 2[edit]

The series theme emphasized the importance of Sunday lunch, with Ramsay teaching families how to prepare this meal on a regular basis. From the second series onward, the restaurant had 50 paying diners served by an amateur brigade. If guests found any of their food unsatisfactory, they could choose not to pay for that item.[4] Janet Street-Porter became the series' regular field correspondent; Giles Coren only appeared in a one-off segment on the Pimp That Snack phenomenon. The celebrity pudding challenge was changed to a general cooking challenge, while Ramsay raised pigs in his garden, which he named Trinny and Susannah.[5] Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall returned to offer advice on raising the pigs. Unlike Series 1, the second series of the show was usually transmitted after the 9pm watershed, meaning that Ramsay's infamous bad language was no longer bleeped out.

Series 3[edit]

This series ran a campaign stating that "Fast food doesn't have to mean junk food", with Ramsay showing people how to prepare a simple supper in under 30 minutes, without having to order takeaways or rely on prepackaged meals or other convenience food.[6] The best weekly amateur brigade was rewarded with the prestige of cooking at Ramsay's restaurant at Claridge's in the series finale.[7] Ramsay home-reared a pair of Charollais-Welsh lambs, named Charlotte and Gavin.[8] There was also a series-long search for a new "Fanny Cradock".[9]

Series 4[edit]

This series' weekly amateur brigade featured a celebrity and their relatives.[3] Janet Street-Porter took on the responsibility of rearing veal calves nicknamed Elton and David in a North Yorkshire farm.[10] Food columnist Tom Parker Bowles appeared on two episodes. In his first appearance, he visited Sardinia to sample casu marzu, a local cheese containing maggots.[11] On his second stint, he attempted to cook a whole pig.[12]

Series 5[edit]

A fifth series premiered on 3 November 2009 on Channel 4.[13] The series focused on a search for "Britain's best local restaurant".[14] 10,000 nominations were narrowed down to 18 restaurant finalists representing nine different cuisines.[15] The second round involved the finalists serving their signature dishes to a panel of diners at their own establishments, followed by a semi-final cook-off at Ramsay's flagship restaurant at Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea.

Episode guide[edit]

Series 1[edit]

No. Celebrity guest Original U.K. air date
1 Al Murray and Martine McCutcheon 27 Oct 05
2 Joan Collins and Helen Cosgrove 3 Nov 05
3 Christopher Parker 10 Nov 05
4 Rachel Cooke 17 Nov 05
5 Jonathan Ross and Gary Rhodes 24 Nov 05
6 Richard Wilson, Nancy Dell'Olio, Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie 1 Dec 05
7 Jimmy Carr, Sarah Beeny and Davina McCall 8 Dec 05
8 Colin Jackson and Janet Street-Porter 15 Dec 05
9 Sharon Osbourne and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 21 Dec 05

Series 2[edit]

No. Celebrity guest Original U.K. air date
1 Kathy Burke and Angela Griffin 21 Jun 06
2 Cliff Richard and Janet Street-Porter 28 Jun 06
3 Darren Gough and Jeremy Clarkson 5 Jul 06
4 Dermot O'Leary and Janet Street-Porter 12 Jul 06
5 John Humphreys and Dean Lennox 19 Jul 06
6 Michelle Collins and Jonathan Ross 26 Jul 06
7 Nick Knowles and Jessie Wallace 2 Aug 06
8 John Thompson 9 Aug 06
9 Janet Street-Porter, David Walliams and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 16 Aug 06

Series 3[edit]

No. Celebrity guest Original U.K. air date
1 Dawn French and Natasha Kaplinsky 8 May 07
2 Ronnie Corbett and Girls Aloud 15 May 07
3 James May and Denise Van Outen 22 May 07
4 Alex James 29 May 07
5 Chris Moyles 5 Jun 07
6 Ian Botham and Dom Joly 12 Jun 07
7 Jonathan Ross and Sara Cox 19 Jun 07
8 Gok Wan and Cat Deeley 26 Jun 07
9 Ricky Gervais and Johnny Vegas 3 Jul 07

Series 4[edit]

No. Celebrity guest Original U.K. air date
1 Wendi Peters and Geri Halliwell 13 May 08
2 Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Kate Garraway 20 May 08
3 McFly and Ben Miller 27 May 08
4 Melanie Blatt, Nicole Appleton and David Blunkett 3 Jun 08
5 Paddy McGuinness, Dara O'Briain and Jamelia 10 Jun 08
6 Neneh Cherry, Andrea Oliver, John Prescott, Tom Parker Bowles and Dannii Minogue 17 Jun 08
7 Angela Griffin and Meat loaf 24 Jun 08
8 Matt Dawson, Joanne Salley, Edith Bowman and Tom Parker Bowles 1 Jul 08
9 Mica Paris and Jo Brand 8 Jul 08
10 Christopher Biggins, Jessica Hynes and Rob Brydon 15 Jul 08
11 Jon Snow, Erin O'Connor and Emma Bunton 22 Jul 08
12 Graham Norton 29 Jul 08

Series 5[edit]

No. Celebrity guest Original U.K. air date
1 Katie Price 3 Nov 09
2 Lenny Henry 17 Nov 09
3 none 17 Nov 09
4 none 24 Nov 09
5 Rory Bremner 1 Dec 09
6 Kelly Brook 8 Dec 09
7 Ian Wright 15 Dec 09
8 Peter Andre 22 Dec 09
9 Johnny Vaughan, Kate Silverton, and Fay Ripley 29 Dec 09
10 none 5 Jan 10
11 none 6 Jan 10
12 none 7 Jan 10

International broadcasters[edit]

The show has been broadcast around the world including the following countries:

Country Broadcaster
 Argentina Film&Arts/i-Sat
 Australia Nine Network
7TWO[16]
 Canada BBC Canada
Food Network Canada[17]
 Finland MTV3
JIM
 Greece Skai TV
 Hungary Paprika TV
 Ireland TV3
 Italy Rai 5
 Netherlands RTL 4
 New Zealand TV One
 Norway VOX
 Philippines Lifestyle Network
 Poland BBC Lifestyle
 Portugal Sic Radical
 Quebec Casa, a specialty channel of TVA
 South Africa BBC Lifestyle
 South Korea Dong-a TV
 Sweden Kanal 5
 United States BBC America

In South Korea, the show was renamed Cook-King[18]

Controversy[edit]

Women in the kitchen[edit]

A major component of series 1 was Ramsay's "Get Women Back in the Kitchen" campaign. In a self-administered survey, he found that three-quarters of women could not cook, with some 78% never cooking a regular evening dinner. Women found cooking to be a chore, whereas men found it to be an enjoyable activity. Ramsay claimed that women "know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives."[19]

Ramsay's findings were met with mixed reactions. While some of his contemporaries, like Nigella Lawson, previously stated similar opinions, other celebrity chefs, like Clarissa Dickson Wright, felt Ramsay's proposition was "rubbish and about ten years out of date".[20] Wright felt that these comments undermined the increased enrollment of women at culinary schools across the United Kingdom. His intentions have been misunderstood by some who believe that he thinks women belong in the kitchen or should be doing the cooking for their husbands, whereas his real desire is to help women who want to be able to cook but lack the confidence or motivation.

Animal slaughter[edit]

  • The second-to-last episode of the first series featured the slaughter of six turkeys that were raised in Ramsay's garden. The scene had been preceded with a content warning. 27 viewers complained about the slaughter, leading to an investigation by Ofcom. Conversely, the media watchdog and Channel 4 also received 18 letters of support to counter the complaints. In 2004, Ramsay had also been criticized by the broadcast watchdog for swearing on-air.
  • In the second series, viewers also saw the slaughter of his two pigs, which were raised throughout the series. They were taken to an abattoir and their brains stunned with an electric shock before being slaughtered.[21] A few months earlier, another Channel 4 series, Jamie's Great Italian Escape (featuring Jamie Oliver) also received similar complaints after it featured the slaughter of a lamb.
  • Similarly the lambs he kept were slaughtered at the end of series three. Warnings were given to viewers before the start of the programme explaining the graphic nature of the footage, there was no censoring of the death or evisceration of the animal.
  • In series four, Ramsay received criticism for "sky fishing" for puffins, having their necks broken and eating the animals raw flesh and heart of two birds, a local tradition in Iceland.[22] Ofcom received 42 complaints, but no rules were deemed broken.

DVD releases[edit]

North America[edit]

BFS Entertainment has released all five series of The F Word on DVD in Region 1.

DVD name Episodes Release date
The F Word- Series 1 9 17 February 2009
The F Word- Series 2 8[23] 17 March 2009
The F Word- Series 3 9 6 October 2009
The F Word- Series 4 12 20 April 2010
The F Word- Series 5 12 25 October 2011

United Kingdom[edit]

IMC Vision has released all four series of The F Word on DVD in Region 2.

DVD name Episodes Release date
The F Word- Series 1 & 2 18 22 October 2007
The F Word- Series 3 9 10 March 2008
The F Word- Series 4 12 27 October 2008

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plunkett, John (11 June 2008). "Gordon Ramsay's F Word hits series high". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Grilling Gordon Ramsay". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "The Real Gordon Ramsay". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Brigades". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Pork for thought". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "Fast Food Recipes". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "The F Word Brigades - Series 3". Channel 4. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  8. ^ "Welsh lambs to star in Gordon Ramsay's F Word". Farmers Guardian. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "Find me a Fanny". Channel 4. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  10. ^ Wilson, Ben (22 June 2008). "The kitchen thinker: are you for veal?". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 23 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Episode 6 - The Cherry-Oliver brigade". Channel 4. Retrieved 23 June 2008. 
  12. ^ "Scotland on Tuesday". The Scotsman. 
  13. ^ "Chef Gordon Ramsay spotted at Calderdale restaurant". Halifax Evening Courier. 26 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Gordon Ramsay’s F Word Series 5". Channel 4. 
  15. ^ Tompkins, Michelle (8 January 2010). "It's F-lipping F-antastic!". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  16. ^ 7TWO Schedule
  17. ^ Honey, Kim (29 April 2008). "Gordon Ramsay heats up Star kitchen". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Cook-King Ramsay(Promo page) (Korean), Dong-ah TV, Retrieved on 3 August 2007
  19. ^ Ramsay: Women can't cook to save their lives Daily Mail
  20. ^ Innes, John "Saucy Ramsay pans female chefs", The Scotsman, 24 October 2005
  21. ^ Adams, Guy "Ramsay reduced to tears as pigs go under knife", The Independent, 9 August 2006
  22. ^ Ramsay cleared over puffin eating BBC News, 15 September 2008
  23. ^ Episode 2 of series 2 is not present in the BFS DVDs; the case lists "clearance issues" as the cause of the omission. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/F-Word-Complete-Collection/17863

External links[edit]