LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay apologized on Wednesday for insulting a high-profile female Australian television reporter.
The cook, renowned for foul-mouthed on-screen outbursts, sparked the row on Saturday when he showed a food-fair audience a photo of a nude woman on all fours, with multiple breasts and a pig's face, and said the image was of Tracy Grimshaw.
Grimshaw, who had interviewed him the night before, described Ramsay as an "arrogant narcissist" and a "bully" and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the cook's remarks reflected "a new form of low life."
In a statement, Ramsay described his comments relating to Grimshaw as "off-the-cuff and in response to heckling from the audience.
"His intention was to make a joke and indeed he did raise a big laugh at the time," the statement read.
"However, with hindsight he realizes that his comments were inappropriate and offensive to Tracy Grimshaw. Gordon has given a full and frank apology on the Channel 9 News which Tracy has accepted. He has also spoken to Tracy personally."
Ramsay, the star of reality television programs such as "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares," is no stranger to controversy in Australia.
In 2008 he prompted a flood of complaints and a parliamentary review of broadcasting guidelines after an episode of Kitchen Nightmares in which he used a four-letter expletive more than 80 times in 40 minutes.
He faced further embarrassment earlier this year when he admitted there may have been "inaccuracies" in accounts of his soccer-playing past.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison