[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May 2004, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Stars walk out of Hell's Kitchen
Tommy Vance and Abi Titmuss
Vance (left) was only in the show 24 hours
Two contestants in the ITV reality show Hell's Kitchen, pitting celebrities against chef Gordon Ramsay, have walked out as ratings suffered a heavy drop.

DJ Tommy Vance and athlete Dwain Chambers left the show after receiving verbal abuse from the explosive chef.

Vance's agent said the former BBC Radio 1 host had left the show because he thought it was "dangerous".

Meanwhile, ratings for the Tuesday show were 5.1 million _ more than three million down from Monday's show.

Vance had only been on the show for 24 hours as a late replacement for the injured reporter Roger Cook.

He left to save his own finger and somebody else's
Jon Roseman
Tommy Vance's agent
"He was very tired and felt that the kitchen was a dangerous environment to be in," his agent Jon Roseman said.

"If you are tired and under stress you can either damage yourself or others because a kitchen's full of boiling water, fire and fat.

"He is not a young man and unless you are seriously trained it is very dangerous. He left to save his own finger and somebody else's."

An ITV spokeswoman said: "They have walked. They did not turn up for roll call this morning.

Gordon Ramsay
Chef Gordon Ramsay now has a busy TV career
"Then Dwain came down in his normal clothes and just said 'I'm off, bye'. There was no big argument or anything.

"We not sure what happened with Tommy, but we are going back through the tapes," she said.

Vance, 63, is a rock DJ best-known for his 15-year run as host of the Friday Rock Show on Radio 1.

Dwain Chambers, 26, is a British runner regarded as one of the world's best sprinters before being tested positive for the banned drug THG.

The show started on Sunday. It lasts for two weeks and forces celebrities to cook for diners at a Ramsay-run restaurant.

The show has made a really strong impact and viewers are enjoying the action
ITV1 spokeswoman
The celebrity chefs are voted for by the public and the least popular will be evicted. The ten chefs had been divided into two teams.

Other celebrities taking part include former Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison, Gimme Gimme Gimme actor James Dreyfus and Coronation Street's Amanda Barrie.

An ITV spokeswoman said the ratings had taken a marked dip, but "in a show of this nature they are always fluctuating".

"The show has made a really strong impact and viewers are enjoying the action," she said.

The show had already seen Barrie and Dreyfus on the verge of quitting because of treatment from the acid-tongued Ramsay.

Chef Ramsay cooks up 7m audience
24 May 04 |  Entertainment
Restaurant in chef show row
30 Apr 04 |  Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific