At the Walkley Awards last Thursday night one of the biggest cheers of the evening was reserved for Tracy Grimshaw, who won the gong for broadcast interviewing.
As the A Current Affair host made her way to the stage, the big screen behind the presenters played an excerpt from one of the interviews Grimshaw was being honoured for - her excruciating chat with former NRL star Matthew Johns.
There 10 times larger than life was a visibly distraught Johns, flanked by his wife Trish, responding to explosive claims about group sex in the NRL contained in a 4 Corners report - another Walkley winner. Half the media executives in the country were in the room watching Grimshaw accept the well-deserved award.
About the same time, according to yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, Seven and Ten were engaged in a bidding war to see who can sign Johns to spearhead their NRL coverage. These network bosses sure do have short memories.
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My name is Tracey and I am not a lesbian. Well, except for 15 minutes in 1987. At university. Does that count?
Everyone is at risk of being ‘outed’ these days, as tabloid media organizations eat their own to get the next exclusive story.
Last week, journalists were salivating at the mouth at the prospect of using the name ‘Tracy Grimshaw’ and ‘lesbian’ in the same sentence, following Gordon Ramsay’s outburst.
Tracy has publicly denied the allegation, but she will be forever haunted by a claim that, until now, was only whispered by carpet-strollers in TV corridors.
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There’s nothing quite like the British press when they smell blood. When a star’s foibles move from bite-size skitty spreads in the tabloids to full-on denunciations in the broadsheets, it’s only a matter of time before the sackcloth and ashes come out. Gordon Ramsay apologised this morning - through a spokesman - for calling Tracy Grimshaw a pig.
Yesterday he was belligerent, talking about lawyers, and angry at Grimshaw for bringing up his wife when she denounced him on Monday. (That clip on YouTube has become a minor sensation and you can see last night’s follow-up here.) But Ramsay has copped a bucketing over the past 24 hours, with a columnist in London’s Daily Telegraph declaring she’s convinced he “has a death wish” and that he’s “blown it – certainly as far as female fans are concerned”. It ran on the home page of the Daily Mail website - right beside the latest coverage of the political crisis that is threatening to up-end public life in Britain:
More highlights from the global coverage below, including video of some of Ramsay’s actual comments on stage in Melbourne. (Winner for most obscure angle of the Ramsay stories around today goes to this post, which somehow manages to link the Ramsay incident to LG and the Cronulla Sharks.)
But where does this leave Ramsay now? Share your verdict in the comments.
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UPDATE 12.15pm: Gordon Ramsay said this morning his response was “to say silent” - apart from the following series of points: video.
Parliaments are no strangers to the absurd, but for sheer incongruity it’s hard to match a report by the Senate last year on Gordon Ramsay’s swearing.
A submission (pdf here) from the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide states in its introduction:
The revelation that the ‘F word’ was used 80 times in a one hour program raises many questions.
Indeed. You can picture a monsignor penning that line in the dim study of a parish house and muttering: “... So I’m f***ed if I know where to start.”
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UPDATE 6.50pm: Grimshaw kicked off ACA with a massive spray at Ramsay, saying she was having a go because “bullies thrive when no-one takes them on”, calling him an “arrogant narcissist”, and denying they have any “great relationship”. She added:
Truly I wonder how many people would laugh if they were effectively described as an old, ugly pig. How is that funny exactly? And worse, it’s not even witty.
... Gordon Ramsay made me promise not to ask on Friday about his private life. He then got on stage on Saturday, and made some very clear and uninformed insinuations about mine. Obviously Gordon thinks that any woman who doesn’t find him attractive must be gay. For the record, I don’t; and I’m not.
I still think she could have used the approach in the video below though.
Because here’s one way she could deal with him. I particularly like that Ramsay looks shocked after being force-fed a leg-ham-sized portion of his own medicine:
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