According to Nine insiders there was no conspiracy, active or implicit, in the stoush between A Current Affair, Tracy Grimshaw and noted British cook, Gordon Ramsay, now off in the wilds of Queensland teaching people how to abuse their food, instead of fellow humans.
I now know that ACA had the footage of Mr Ramsay in the Melbourne make-up room at GTV 9, which they used on Tuesday night, for one very good reason: they needed pictures of him for late afternoon and early evening updates promoting Tracy Grimshaw’s interview with Mr Ramsay.
It was not part of a set-up; it was done for the mundane job of filling a black hole in a 30 second program promo, and to tell viewers that Mr Ramsay was coming up.
While in make-up, the crew captured Mr Ramsay insulting a make up girl (who returned fire) and weather person, Livinia Nixon. Then the tape (as screened on Tuesday night) showed Ramsay and ACA reporter Elise Mooney chatting. I understand she had decided on her own initiative to get some comments from Mr Ramsay for a story she was doing on a consumers guide to olive oil. Instead of those, she got the lewd comments from Ramsay about putting olive oil on your nipples if you are a runner (he said he was a marathon runner).
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He also made a very crude comment to a GTV 9 cleaner off camera while talking to Ms Mooney. The footage was then taken to tapes at GTV and shots of Mr Ramsay were fed to TCN 9 Sydney to be made into promos for that night’s interview.
On Saturday, Ramsay appeared at a food and wine show and made the now infamous comments about Ms Grimshaw. From what I can glean, a reporter from the Sunday Herald Sun rang a senior Nine or ACA producer to tell them of Ramsay’s comments. Ms Grimshaw was informed and according to insiders was shocked into silence.
She then wouldn’t take calls from Ramsay on the Sunday after the story of his tirade appeared in Melbourne papers and interstate. He then made more comments, exacerbating the situation.
On Monday the now very public stoush climaxed on ACA with Tracy Grimshaw’s editorial. She was clearly upset. Producers belatedly realised they had a tape of the Ramsay appearance at GTV on Friday, and chased it down in Melbourne which was by then waiting to be processed for the Elise Mooney olive oil story.
It was late in the day before ACA producers remembered the tape and viewed it, but recoiled from using it because of the lewdness and crassness of Ramsay’s sprays at various people. On Tuesday Ramsay told reporters that he hadn’t said anything particularly nasty about Ms Grimshaw, didn’t use the word lesbian, and that his lawyers had reviewed the tapes. That appeared on other networks and on radio.
According to insiders, ACA realised that with Ramsay in denial, the Melbourne tape from Friday was now well worth showing because it proved that Ramsay’s behaviour was not just limited to the wine and food show sprays on Saturday and Sunday and that there was a pattern of behaviour there.
So the story that appeared first up on Tuesday night was cobbled together from the vision from Friday and with Ms Grimshaw’s comments following. As we now know, on the Wednesday Ramsay had a spokesman get on Sky News in London to reveal the apology. It was an apology before an apology. He then did an interview with Tony Jones, a GTV 9 News reporter, and rang Ms Grimshaw who accepted his apology on the phone and then on air.
The fact that she didn’t do the interview with Ramsay indicates the immense depths of her dislike for the man. It’s a story that veered off course because of Ramsay’s crude and insulting comments over the weekend. If Ramsay had remained silent, the story wouldn’t have erupted.
So for that Gordon, you get our Wankley this week.
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