Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ramsay vs Grimshaw: Round III

Right now in Australia we have major issues like a budget deficit, swine flu, attacks on Indian students, the threat of a double dissolution election, and Therese Rein’s feet but Australian audiences aren’t interested in any of that – no they want more Ramsay.

It’s an incredible irony that the week before Kitchen Nightmares is due to slink away from it’s one remaining broadcast market (Melbourne) that foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay should be in the country, causing a storm in a tea-cup by slagging off at ACA host Tracy Grimshaw behind her back, in turn delivering a rare timeslot win to A Current Affair.

Here’s the story as I know it, Ramsay has an interview with Grimshaw on Friday nights ACA, the next day he’s at the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show giving a presentation and cracking jokes about the current affairs host, he augments his jokes with a slide-show which includes images of Miss Piggy and a naked woman on all-fours photoshopped to look like she has six breasts (if you’ve been on the internet enough years you will have seen the photo, it’s one of those things that gets around, so I’m not going to reproduce it here!)

Now there is video of this incident, because on ACA last night Nine had snippets of it – but for the life of me I cannot locate any of it on the net.

Then on Sunday night Ramsay goes on Rove and by all accounts it was very uncomfortable viewing, I didn’t see it but the retelling delivered by my wife who did was pretty compelling stuff, unfortunately the one video that was posted to the net has been taken down and the user (well known in YouTube circles for posting clips of Rove for some years now) has been suspended.

The ensuing shitstorm ramped up a few gears on Monday with Grimshaw deciding (rightly I might add) to publicly rebuke the chef. Yesterday we had a wide assortment of people weighing from freelance social commentator Kevin Rudd (he really is the new John Howard!) to Victoria’s arbiters of good taste Neil Mitchell and Andrew Bolt. All of this was capped last night with spectacle of reporters chasing Ramsay all around Melbourne to Crown Casino where they were stopped by six all powerful words…

“No filming on the gaming floor”

ACA this year has managed to make itself the headline more often than not, first the Matthew Johns interview, then the Ben Iken controversy, now this, a public stoush with one of Nine’s international (former) hits. ACA’s biggest stories this year have involved controversies within Channel Nine itself – one can only wonder what or who is next!

For all this noise, ACA did very little to the audience for Today Tonight, with that program only down by 42,000 viewers, most of ACA’s increase came from people who normally wouldn’t watch either show.

Furthermore, the effect on Ramsay’s shows was neglible, neither show managed a convincing number in Melbourne (the only market they were screened) though viewers of Kitchen Nightmares were treated to the spectacle of Ramsay teaching a restauranter how to yell obscenities at the top of your lungs from the edge of a cliff!

I guess they chose the location because nobody would be watching and really when you think about it, nobody was.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Going Up

ACA up 20% week on week
Millionaire Hot Seat up 18%
HomeMADE up 11%
Nine News up 10%
M*A*S*H up 10%
Two and a Half Men (9pm) up 6%
Masterchef up 6%

Going Down
Jennifer Byrne Presents down 10% on First Tuesday Book Club
10 Years Younger in Ten Days down 8%
Time Team down 8%
ABC News down 7%

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