Wednesday, July 11, 2012


This TV series, set in Brixton nick, pits a populist chef against the indifference of the prison service.

Ramsay is at war on all fronts.  Internally, he is fractured by the urge to both punish and reform.  Out of the hearing of the prisoners he is pretty abusive about them and hammers away at the idea of "payback". When with them, he is pulled by the urge to reform them, to open new opportunities in their lives.

This clash of emotion that Ramsay is struggling with is one that reflects the wider society.  Don't we all struggle with the punishment vs rehabilitation problem? Alongside this battle is the one of Ramsey vs the prison service, and we are beginning to discover that the largest hurdle to reform isn't the cons, it is the short-sighted and unimaginative prison policy.

It will be interesting to see how this struggle resolves itself.  If it ever does.


  1. I suspect not... I read an interview with him recorded after filming (lost the link, sorry) and I wasn't exactly impressed with what he took away from the experience. It seemed to mostly be that prisoners are lazy because they spend all their time sitting in their cells, which rather seems to miss the point that they don't have much say in the matter :/

  2. SPOILER - I believe Caffe Nero stocks the slice.

  3. I really don't know how i feel about this. I never liked Ramsey anyway,(for otehr reasons) but think it is great he is giving the prisoners a chance. What i don't like is that the prisoners have their name and crime on the t.v. and also the way they are being exploited, (like Summit Media exploit prisoners, cheap labour, company get all profit and prisoner is paid chicken feed money for a full working week, tax-payer picksup the bill for board and lodgings.)Ramsey did mention that they are a source of cheap labour on t.v last night. Though to be fair to him, he did mention that his brother is a smackhead, and his dad i think is an alcoholic, so he has been there and got the t-shirt.

  4. Ramsey seems to be portraying himself as some sort of innovator no different to Jamie Oliver and his crusades, in that most people would not realise that there already are opportunities to work in prisons. To me he comes across as two faced and if he has got any experience of the prison regime then it doesn't show in the slightest. Personally along with Jeremy Kyle I hope someone gives him a slap.


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