Gordon Ramsay Accused Of Ripping Off Iconic Reality Show

Lord Sugar has accused Gordon Ramsay of ripping off The Apprentice with his new show Future Food Stars.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

gordon ramsay

Gordon Ramsay has effectively built his brand as a brutal-but-entertaining chef who has headlined a number of hit reality television shows over the years. One of his latest ventures is Future Food Stars, a show in which would-be entrepreneurs compete to become, hopefully, major stars like Ramsay himself. However, some critics of the show think Ramsay is just ripping off other works, including Britain’s Lord Sugar, who recently told the Daily Mail that the new show is “a virtual rip-off of The Apprentice” and that Ramsay himself should “stick to your day job, mate.”

The Apprentice has been a hit show on the BBC ever since 2005 and is an adaptation of the original American show that went on to become an international franchise. And Lord Sugar has been part of the BBC show from the beginning, playing the chief executive role (that would later be inhabited by American counterparts such as Donald Trump) who has various contestants compete to win money to invest in their big idea as well as a partnership with Sugar himself. Now, Sugar is accusing Gordon Ramsay of copying this classic format for Future Food Stars.

While it’s easy to dismiss such claims (after all, many reality shows share DNA with one another), it really does look like Lord Sugar has a point here. In Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars, candidates compete for the famous chef’s approval, and the prize is an investment in whatever culinary business venture the winning contestant brings to the table. So there is definitely a surface similarity in making entrepreneurial candidates compete for investment money to help bring those ideas to life.

gordon ramsay future food stars

However, some defenders of Gordon Ramsay and Future Food Stars have pointed out that surface similarities are just that: surface. Other reality television shows have had contestants compete for investment cash and similar prizes before, and this isn’t exactly something that either the BBC or Lord Sugar have trademarked. Then again, you might be surprised by exactly who has acknowledged these similarities.

One of the most surprising people to acknowledge the similarities between The Apprentice and Future Food Stars is Gordon Ramsay himself. In a previous cheeky interview, the celebrity chef expressed hopes that his latest show would annoy Lord Sugar before saying that, in all seriousness, he is a major fan of The Apprentice. In other words, Ramsay seemingly set out to make Sugar angry, and based on Sugar’s remarks, it looks like this strategy is certainly working.

And as for whether Future Food Wars is truly a rip-off of The Apprentice, it’s genuinely difficult to make the call. We’ve already covered the surface similarities, and Gordon Ramsay himself seems to agree with them. But how original you consider either of these programs largely depends on how original you think the basic concept of “contestants compete for money” really is.

Still, it may not be Lord Sugar’s criticisms that take Gordon Ramsay’s show out but rather the viewers … or lack of them. Future Food Stars didn’t impress critics when it debuted, and it has proven to be something of a ratings flop. This means we’ll likely be seeing a new Ramsay show sooner rather than later, but only time will tell whether the new show is very original and whether it makes Lord Sugar as angry as this one has.