Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 10:31 UK

Australia ire over chef's f-words

British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay
Ramsay is notorious for his expletive-filled tirades

The oaths and expletives for which colourful British TV chef Gordon Ramsay is famed have brought him to the attention of Australian lawmakers.

An inquiry was initiated by Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, after he watched Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares programme.

Senator Bernardi claimed that one episode had contained "the f-word" 80 times in 40 minutes.

"And I'm not referring to fondue," he said, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Mr Bernardi said there was "no excuse for gratuitous bad language to be broadcast repeatedly" when it could be "beeped out".

A Senate committee has made a number of recommendations to help parents police what shows their children are watching.


But senators stopped short of imposing an outright ban on swearwords, citing a lack of an "overwhelming community consensus" in favour of such a ban.

Instead, they backed a number of safeguards, such as permanently displaying the classification mark of a programme on-screen, and new technology that would allow parents to block unsuitable programmes.

They also recommended some changes to the way Australian broadcasters handled complaints.

Commentators say there is a tinge of irony in this controversy, given Australians' legendary penchant for swearing.

Last year, Australia's tourist board was rapped by the UK advertising watchdog for running ads with the strapline: "So where the bloody hell are you?" in Britain.


Ramsay's UK-made programmes are extremely popular in Australia.

Nine Network, which broadcasts Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen, says they now typically attract 1.4 million viewers.

Network executives have defended the inclusion of Ramsay's expletives in the programme, saying he sometimes used them as praise, and pointing out that they received only one written complaint for every 117,000 viewers.

But they said Ramsay's single use of another, more offensive, profanity was unacceptable and would not be broadcast again.

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