Foul-mouthed reality TV chef Gordon Ramsay has shocked a public audience by vilifying a high-profile Australian journalist in an obscene, sexist rant — at one point claiming she is a lesbian.
The putrid tirade against Tracy Grimshaw — which included references to her looks and sexuality and depictions of her as a pig — shocked audiences who went to see the celebrity chef at the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne, Australia.
Ramsay told an audience of several thousand people that Grimshaw was "a lesbian," the Sunday Herald Sun reports.
When the crowd reacted with gasps, he said: "What? I'm not saying she's a d—," using a slur for gay women.
Ramsay also showed a picture of a woman — who appeared to be naked — on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts.
"That's Tracy Grimshaw," he told the audience. "I had an interview with her yesterday. Holy crap. She needs to see Simon Cowell's Botox doctor."
Ramsay — who later dismissed the comments as a joke — went on with more innuendos about Grimshaw's sexual preference and activities.
The crude remarks did not impress Channel Nine chief executive David Gyngell, who phoned Ramsay to tell him they were inappropriate and that he had gone too far.
Just a year ago, the celebrity chef had been lauded as the network's savior, with his programs "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares" doing well in the ratings.
Mandy Saunders was at the food expo with her two children and elderly mother.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing — it was disgusting," Saunders said. "The show is meant for families. That was way out of order."
Anthony Kavroulas was also in the audience at Ramsay's performance.
"What can I say? It was totally sexist," Kavroulas said.
Women's groups also expressed their disgust, saying it was wrong that Ramsay was making money by comparing women to animals.
Melinda Tankard Reist, from Women's Forum Australia, said Ramsay's sponsors should dump him and he should leave Australia.
"Ramsay's sexist and demeaning actions are offensive to every Australian woman," Reist said.
"Why should he get paid for depicting a woman as an animal and publicly deriding her looks? He shouldn't be making money through the verbal abuse of women.
"Gordon Ramsay is no longer welcome here. The sponsors of his trip should immediately remove their support and send him packing."
LG, a major sponsor of the Good Food and Wine Show, declined comment on the incident.
Ramsay appeared on Nine's "A Current Affair" and was interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw on Friday night.
During the interview, he commented on Grimshaw's facial mole, asking: "Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister's on your lip."
Grimshaw appeared to take that remark well.
But "A Current Affair" executive producer Grant Williams said yesterday the chef had gone too far and he should stick to cooking and lay off the comedy.
"We know Gordon Ramsay sets out to shock, but if what we're being told is true, we're very surprised," Williams said. "Frankly, although it's plainly a joke, it's out of order. Gordon has proved here that he doesn't need to be in the kitchen to create a nightmare."
A spokeswoman for Ramsay said the stunt was meant in fun.
"He really respects Tracy Grimshaw as a journalist. It was just a joke," Sarah Armstrong said. "She interviews him every time he comes to Australia. They have a great relationship."