UK media watchdog Ofcom has ruled that Channel 4 was in breach of its rules on offensive language when the channel aired two Gordon Ramsay shows.
The programmes, which both follow the celebrity chef as he helps struggling businesses in America, contained swearing as they were broadcast before the 9pm watershed “without any warning or justification”.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA was broadcast on E4 Extra at 4pm in July with more than 30 instances of offensive language.
F***, which is regarded as Ofcom’s most offensive word, was broadcast a total of 17 times along with nine instances of moderate language, sh*t.
Language viewed as mild, like b*tch and bloody hell, were also broadcast during the programme.
— Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back (@24HoursFOX) November 2, 2021
The broadcaster told Ofcom it had introduced additional checks and E4 will use the same media management system as Channel 4, which “simply does not allow a programme with a post-watershed certification to be played out pre-watershed”.
Ofcom said there was still a breach as it is a “pre-recorded programme” and “there were no mitigations, such as an on air apology”.
An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Our investigation found this programme broke our rules because it included 39 instances of offensive language without any warning or justification. It was broadcast before the watershed.”
Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours To Hell And Back aired in August on a weekday during the school holidays at 12.10pm on Channel 4.
📢 Broadcast bulletin: We found two TV programmes, featuring Gordon Ramsay, broke our broadcasting rules. Both shows included offensive language, before the watershed.
One episode included 39 instances of offensive language without warnings.
Read more ⬇ https://t.co/iIhYw8uGdN
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) December 5, 2022
In the episode, Ramsay inspected a meal made in one of the kitchens and referred to stale meatballs as “f**king dry”.
Channel 4 told the media watchdog it had put measures in place for the future and the word had been missed due to “human error”.
Ofcom said it was an “instance of the most offensive language before the watershed and there were no mitigations, such as an on air apology” when it ruled the programme was in breach.
Channel 4 has been contacted for a comment.