Gordon Ramsay has leapt to the defence of his reality TV competition Future Food Stars after Lord Alan Sugar's condemnation.
Premiering on BBC One this time last year, the show puts 12 culinary entrepreneurs through their paces in a battle to secure £150k worth of investment in their business, while it's also been given the go-ahead for a second series.
Alan, 76, recently told MailOnline: "I think broadcasters, Channel 4, Channel 5, and ITV have tried for many years, at least for 17 years, to try and replicate the elimination process of The Apprentice. I say this with great respect to them, but they've failed.
"Last year, Gordon Ramsay had some cockamamie idea… I like Gordon and I think he's very good and should stick to what he should do, cooking and all that stuff. He had some thing, which was like, I don't know how the lawyers allowed it because it was a virtual rip-off of The Apprentice.
"No disrespect to Gordon but stick to your day job mate, that's all I would say."
In response, the Hell's Kitchen presenter fired back in typical acid-tongued fashion, suggesting the business tycoon should quit "b****ing" about him.
"He has no right to start throwing his toys out the pram," he shared with The Sun.
"Do you think Simon Cowell started complaining about The Voice when he was running The X Factor? Of course he didn’t. There is more than enough room for both shows on the BBC. Come on Alan! Share the f'ing love!"
Gordon also went on to reveal that an ex-Apprentice contestant ironically begged him to be on Future Food Stars – adding that while Alan was busy badmouthing his format, former candidates were "dying to come on" his programme.
"Strictly between you, Lord Sugar and I, we’ve also just finished filming in the US too," teased the chef. "And we are going to Australia next month as well to launch it.
"Future Food Stars is about scale and magnitude. I am not going to get them dressed up in f***ing pin-striped suits. It’s about the businesses themselves and what they can offer."
Despite the back-and-forth, though, Gordon has great admiration for Alan's legacy.
"I love that guy," he said. "The Apprentice is an amazing format. And when the BBC approached us three years ago and asked if they could entice us to develop an exciting food hero sort of entrepreneur programme, I got so excited."
Future Food Stars and The Apprentice both air on BBC One.
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