ATTACK OF THE 40 FOOT CHEF: UK tabloid The Sun ran a story on the weekend that Hell's Kitchen star and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's might be seeing his biography, Humble Pie, get turned into a movie, "a kind of Billy Elliot-style film, only with chef's whites instead of ballet shoes," as Ramsay described it. "The climax will be our young hero picking up his first Michelin star."
There's plenty of drama in Ramsay's story, if the Sun story is anything to go by - his career as a professional footballer was derailed by an injury in the mid-80s (I'm already cringing at the wardrobe for these scenes) which forced him to start working his way up the kitchen ladder. He spent most of the Sun piece updating readers on his junkie brother, currently on trial in Bali for possession of heroin, a drug that Ramsay had to procure for his sibling to get him to show up for their father's funeral.
Then there's the half-sister he didn't know he had until Humble Pie came out last year - the offspring of a fling his father had as a teenager, whose existence was revealed by another tabloid, the Mail on Sunday. Ramsay says that he sees a definite resemblance, but he hasn't met her yet. "I'd wanted to meet her in private, on my own terms," he told The Sun. "In spite of everything, I do feel as though I want to. But when I do it will be totally private and on my own terms."
If the film actually gets made, I'm curious to see if it will be at all possible to make someone like Ramsay, who bellows at the incompetence of kitchen underlings, abusing them in the most colourful yet belittling language possible, look like a heroic protagonist in a medium where this sort of behaviour is reserved for psychopathic villains. If this act of character alchemy can be achieved, will it lead to a renaissance in the standards of public behaviour, where it will be acceptable to round on bad behaviour, weak excuses and poor performance. I can dream, can't I?
BALL PLAY: The buzz after last Thursday's Grey's Anatomy was that a taboo had been definitively broken in an episode where the chairman of the board of Seattle Grace comes back from a trip to the Amazon with a pair of fantastically enlarged testicles, after becoming host to the legendary, parasitic Candirú fish, which apparently hops a ride aboard the testes train by swimming up your urine. The character, played by Mitch Pileggi, was said to have dropped his trousers and, a second later, a very distended pair of silhouetted nads into the camera frame. Towerload, a gay-themed blog, "broke" the story, which ABC was quick to deny, insisting that it was actually Pileggi's bald head coming into the frame. Oddly enough, in the same Thursday time slot, an episode of CSI also featured an offscreen pair of testicles, and beat out its ABC rival by a hundred thousand viewers. This, I have to point out, was on the first night of sweeps week. I dread to think where this is going.