We can handle life with Gordon Ramsay

Four Lancashire Lasses have already proved they can handle the heat of TV chef Gordon Ramsay's kitchen.

Now viewers are to see them proving their culinary class at the top chef's restaurant in the exclusive Claridge's Hotel in London - called Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's.

The girls - Judith Hilton, Susan Lees, Sandra Drummond, from Ramsbottom, and Justine French from Edgworth - have been given the chance after finishing top scorers in the latest series of The F Word on Channel 4.

Only a team of Army lads could have beaten them . . . and they flopped on Tuesday night's show.

Justine, aged 36, of Greenthorne Close, revealed they had known in advance of the pre-recorded programme going out, as Ramsay broke the news to them in person.

"He phoned us up and we screamed down the receiver. He said Oh, I'd forgotten how loud you lot are'.

"We'd been dying to tell people."

They have, in fact, filmed the series' finale at Claridge's two weeks ago when Justine and her team-mates were filmed following Ramsay through the restaurant to the kitchen before starting work.

"It was such a good feeling because everyone was clapping and cheering. I'm so glad we did it and I've been on a high ever since," she said.

Justine was keeping tight-lipped about their Claridge's score - which was determined by the number of diners who agreed to pay for each course - but said she thought they had proved an even bigger hit than when they first appeared on the programme in May and scored 126 out of 150.

Filming was not without its drama, however.

Susan, aged 36, who is more used to making cakes for the tearoom at the family farm shop, Park Farm in Ramsbottom, was less than impressed when Ramsay gave her the job of killing the king crab, which was to be served as a starter.

"I had no idea it was going to happen. It was massive and I just screamed. I couldn't hold it," she said.

"He showed me how to do it, then asked me what I wanted to name the crab.

"I just said Gordon' and plunged the knife in."

Among the diners were comedian Johnny Vegas, broadcaster Janet Street-Porter, eccentric chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and TV presenter Sarah Beeny.

The team admitted they felt the pressure of cooking at such a prestigious venue, but Susan said they enjoyed every minute of it.

And despite his fearsome reputation, Ramsay had plenty of admiration from the team.

Justine said: "He was lovely, so nice. He comes across as being really genuine and passionate about what he does."

"I think he's gorgeous," added Susan.

l The Lancashire Lasses will appear at Claridge's on The F Word next Tuesday at 9pm on Channel 4.

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