CHERYL GIBBS: Gordon Ramsay was more engaging than I’d imagined

A shot from Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, soon to be shown on ITV1 as part of that channel's Crime and Punishment series
A shot from Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, soon to be shown on ITV1 as part of that channel's Crime and Punishment series

NEWS COMMENT: A respectful salute to the new guards at the palace

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I’m writing this week’s column from Cannes in France.

I’m here as part of the international TV festival that happens twice a year. It’s called Mipcom and the real reason everyone’s here is to basically, well, schmooze.

The main aim is for channels and production companies from all over the world to buy and sell TV programmes. While I’ve had several programmes I’ve worked on sold at Mipcom, I’d never been. And what an eye-opener it’s been.

By the time this column appears, I’ll be home. But as I write I’m sitting in our beautiful two-bedroom apartment overlooking the sea and it’s really quite stunning – if you ignore the busy main road in front of the apartment separating us from the beach. Oh, and the railway line running behind the apartment.

So not the idyllic setting I initially expected. But hey, I’m in Cannes and the weather has been hot – about 30C each day, so I absolutely can’t – and won’t complain.

I went to a keynote speech by Gordon Ramsay where he spoke about his 25 years in television. Like the geek that I am, I got to the auditorium in plenty of time so I could sit in the second row from the front.

He was far more engaging than I had anticipated and I came away with more respect for him than I’d anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he was paid a hefty penny to sit there for 30 minutes and ‘play nice’ but he spoke articulately about his television career and how he has maintained his brand.

I’ve also seen a few more celebs out here including actors Mike Kelly and William Fichtner.

We’ve had some great response to the shows we’re working on which is exciting and while I can’t say much at this stage, am very excited about the next few months.

I’ve learnt a lot, conducted solo business deals like never before and walked more miles than my poor feet can handle (seriously the blisters are like nothing I’ve had before).

It’s been one heck of an experience.

TWO GLASSES OF WINE, SPAGHETTI AND CHOCOLATE – THE DIET’S GOING WELL

I’ve loved being in Cannes, but goodness the French don’t quite understand the concept of being a vegetarian.

Wine, they get. Fresh and warm breads of all types, absolutely. But vegetarian? No way, and absolutely no concept of veganism.

For the past three weeks I’ve been on a no-gluten, no-dairy, no-caffeine and zero-alcohol ban. All because I’m in the middle of ‘food mapping’ to see what might be causing problems in my mouth.

But within two hours of being here I had downed two glasses of wine, had spaghetti with bruschetta, and gobbled a chocolate fondant – not quite the diet I’ve been on for the past few weeks.

But I swear it’s almost impossible to be ‘green’ here.

I went to a very fancy restaurant yesterday near the Palais in Cannes and asked the waiter what vegetarian options were available. I was offered a plate of vegetables and that’s exactly what I had – unseasoned too!

AND FOR MY NEXT TRIP...

I’m off to Mexico on Tuesday with Matt.

It’s been quite some time since we went away together – two-and-a-half years since our honeymoon to Dubai and Mauritius and what a couple of years it’s been.

Like everyone, we’ve had our ups and downs, not least of all the financial strain that buying a bungalow in Clanfield caused, and while we don’t regret the decision at all it did mean that luxuries like a holiday had to go on the back burner.

So I can’t wait to go on holiday and relax.

Problem is, my body doesn’t react well to me doing nothing and in the past few years every time I’ve gone away I’ve ended up at the doctors with severe ulcers in my mouth. I’m really hoping this time will be different!