Gordon Ramsay’s next television venture will have nothing to do with losing his cool around incompetent kitchen staff. Instead, he’ll be appearing as a valiant puppet in a new stop-motion animation series called Gordon Ramsay, at Your Service, which comes from the masterminds behind MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. The irascible chef is reportedly thrilled at the idea and has signed a deal with Toronto’s Cuppa Coffee Studios—the largest stop-motion animation studio in the world—to be caricaturized and provide vocal talent.
Episodes of At Your Service will revolve around Ramsay showing up at the scene of kitchen emergencies, at which point the plot and the comedy take unexpected twists. But don’t expect to see the profanity-spouting Ramsey we all know and love/hate from Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen. The new show is intended as a family sitcom, assures co-creator Adam Shaheen, and will steer away from “the very tiny part of his personality that you see on television…This is about exploring him in other avenues, because he’s an adventurous guy.”
Shaheen and co-writer Brendan Russell had been working on the character for a while, seeking to create an unlikely hybrid of James Bond, the A-Team, MacGyver and the Thunderbirds. And, apparently, Julia Child—they wanted the character to be a chef, so Ramsay was the obvious choice.
We have to agree. Physically, Ramsay is a caricaturist’s dream: deeply engrained furrows of exasperation etched across his brow; hair ruffled from the disappointed running-through of fingers; the face permanently manifested in an expression of “you’ve got to be kidding me.” Of course, there’s his persona too: it is irresistibly compelling to watch a man so obsessed with control constantly lose self-control—and who, despite his best efforts, often reveals that he is a gentle soul at heart.
While Shaheen says the show is less gimmick-based and more reliant on good writing, good ideas and good comedy, we’re not sure if the premise is solid enough to sustain any kind of longevity. Remember those old short-lived MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block cartoons? Still, Cuppa Coffee hopes to sell the idea to international broadcasters at the upcoming Mipcom international TV sales convention in Cannes. Stay tuned.