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Costa del nightmares

Gordon Ramsay visits some of Europe's holiday hotspots, meeting Brits abroad struggling with restaurants in crisis.

Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay is back with his trademark mix of tough talking and inspirational leadership.

Irrepressible and irresistible, Gordon has a well-earned reputation for offering a radical approach to fixing failing restaurants, taking viewers to the heart of the harsh reality of running a business, forging cast-iron recipes for success and offering the owners the chance of redemption, even in the most unpromising situations.

This time around, Gordon explores new territory by visiting some of Europe's holiday hotspots and meeting Brits abroad struggling with restaurants in crisis.

At first, it's off to Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, and Mayfair – a restaurant in a prime location on the busy seafront that should be raking it in, but is almost empty. Next up is Capbreton, a popular coastal town in south-west France, where Tim and Debbie are struggling with their three-year-old restaurant, Le Deck. In the white-washed mountain village of Gaucin, half an hour from the Costa del Sol, a brand new upmarket restaurant is already heading for disaster. And finally, Gordon visits a family-run restaurant on the Costa Blanca that's losing 3,000 euros a week.

Whether it's lazy chefs, filthy kitchens or crackpot business ideas, Gordon wastes no time in cutting to the chase.

Facts

As part of a puffin-hunting segment for his F Word series in 2008, Gordon scaled the face of a perilous 85-metre cliff on Iceland's Westman Islands, lost his footing and plunged into the icy waters below. Weighed down by hefty hiking gear, he remained submerged for 45 seconds and left the TV crew fearing him dead.

Gordon clocked up a whopping 115 F-word outbursts during a 40-minute episode of Great British Nightmare in 2009.

Gordon Ramsay OBE, a title bestowed upon him in 2006, is a pretty big fella. He stands over 1.88m (6ft 2in) tall and fills size 15 shoes, which he has to have custom-made.

Gordon has a black belt in karate and keeps fit with kick-boxing, his current sport of choice.

Despite his craggy face serving him well (he was voted ‘Britain's Sexiest Male Celebrity Chef’ in a 2008 survey), in March 2010, Gordon fessed up to having a bit of cosmetic enhancement to up his dishy credentials after advice from music mogul Simon Cowell.

In the early 80s he was a triallist with Glasgow Rangers, but knee and back injuries prevented him from being signed or making either the reserve or first team.

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Gordon Ramsay - Profile Image

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon was born in Johnstone in Renfrewshire, Scotland but grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon in England. As a boy, he showed promise as a footballer and after playing in under-14 games at the age of just 12, he was chosen to play for the county of Warwickshire.

As a teenager, Gordon also had a trial for Rangers, the club he supported as a child. But unfortunately, his nascent football career was thwarted by a series of injuries and he turned his attention to hotel management after enrolling at a catering college in Oxfordshire.

After moving to London, Gordon worked for a number of high-profile chefs in famed establishments, including Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s and Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in Mayfair. After handling haute cuisine in England, Gordon headed to France to continue his training. After building up his cooking nous over a number of years spent living on the continent, he then headed for Bermuda where he worked as a personal chef on a private yacht.

A keen amateur endurance athlete, Gordon raced his first marathon in 2001. Since then, he has competed not only in more marathons, but also in a series of ultra-marathons, half-Ironmans (triathlons which end in a half-marathon) and in the world’s toughest Ironman competition, which takes place annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

He may be renowned for being competitive, but Gordon doesn’t win them all. Whilst filming an episode of his TV series the F-Word at Doncaster's Marshgate Prison, he challenged an inmate to a vegetable-chopping competition – and he lost!

Gordon was appointed an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 honours list for services to the hospitality industry. He’s also a keen supporter of and fundraiser for a variety of charities, and he and his wife Tana set up the Gordon Ramsay Foundation in 2014 to raise money for worthy causes.

Next on...

Episode 1, Series 6

Monday July 31 at 7:25pm

Mayfair, Costa del Sol

Gordon travels to Mayfair, a restaurant on the Costa del Sol. It's in a prime location on the busy seafront, but is nearly always empty.

Episode 1, Series 6

Monday July 31 at 10:45pm

Mayfair, Costa del Sol

Gordon travels to Mayfair, a restaurant on the Costa del Sol. It's in a prime location on the busy seafront, but is nearly always empty.

Episode 1, Series 6

Tuesday August 1 at 4:20am

Mayfair, Costa del Sol

Gordon travels to Mayfair, a restaurant on the Costa del Sol. It's in a prime location on the busy seafront, but is nearly always empty.

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