Eventually the well of good television formats is running out, so it’s almost admirable that Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars on BBC1 is a total rip-off of The Apprentice.
In fact, I’m surprised no one copied it sooner.
Gordon, an extremely comfortable shouting and pointing man, is perfect as Alan Sugar. The next thing we will know is that he will ask us to call him Lord.
The starred chef and (shouts) “CEO of a global business empire”…is looking for the next food star to invest in, an entrepreneur he can propel to the next level.
He has selected 12 of the best, who will compete in tough challenges to win £150,000 investment of his own money.
It’s all clear so far, except when it starts, I’m a little concerned that this whole series is purely Gordon dealing with a midlife crisis through reality TV.
As the 12 hopefuls wait, bewildered, on a Newquay beach, Gordon goes full-throttle into Bear Grylls, leaping from a helicopter into the sea. Reason unclear.
Now he wants them to climb steep rocks and jump off cliffs.
“If I’m going to take a leap of faith with you, I’d like you all to do the same for me!” he shouts. Groan.
What does this have to do with being able to sell vegan cakes or tubs of chutney? Did Mary Berry have to bungee jump before getting the Bake Off gig? I do not think so.
“Just do the fucking jump,” Gordon yells at some poor prick, who probably thought his biggest battle would be with a soufflé or a spreadsheet.
Luckily, the whole thing is saved when he gets back on track for a real eating challenge. Contestants are divided into teams for a lucrative task, selling street food from beach shacks.
Immediately there are heroes and villains. There’s tears over a taco, a fallen mango sauce sends someone spiraling, there’s an argument over monkfish, and a woman borders on violent while being overprotective about mushrooms. .
The biggest crime is when a team charges £8 for a cheese toast and a 40 minute wait.
Gordon transitions into a role of MasterChef, bursting into kitchens with raised eyebrows, then springs back into shape when he spits out the food and calls it disgusting.
Finally, the losing team is dragged into a dimly lit room to be grilled by Gordon, before one of them is fired…sorry, I mean, asked to leave. Come on Gordon, where’s your catchphrase?
But it’s all actually pretty good – and as long as Gordon stops skipping things, it’s a kitchen nightmare that just might whet your appetite.