Charmless trio make Gordon, Gino and Ref: American Road Trip a hackneyed full house of boring banter
Like any good Scout, I was prepared to dislike Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip (ITV, Thursdays, 9pm) and as it turned out, my preconceptions were proved right.
Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix are like the ‘lads’ you knew at the school – the ones who were all right on their own, but when they got together they turned into idiotic, ultra-competitive, testosterone-fuelled banter machines.
Having watched a previous road trip, I knew what to expect. This travelogue through Mexico did not disappoint, rolling through clichés as the charmless trio rolled through the arid landscape of Baja California in their enormous RV.
Bottles of tequila with creatures in? Check! Eating super-hot chillies? Check! Masked wrestlers? Check!
All they needed was a mariachi band for a kind of hackneyed full house.
It was all horribly reminiscent of the last days of Top Gear, in which the obnoxious loud one, the small eager one and the other one engage in scripted stunts showcasing the Dunning-Kruger effect on gas-guzzling American wheels.
This reached its zenith – or more accurately, nadir – when a dune buggy race ended in D’Acampo crashing into the RV, which for some reason had been parked in the middle of the racetrack.
Even the Italian got cheesed off, telling Ramsay “God forbid you’d say something nice” as he berated his crumple-faced companion for his lack of concern.
It’s a dispiriting hour, frankly, and you feel sorry for their charming Mexican hosts as every ‘experience’ ends in arm-punching, guffawing one-upmanship.
Ramsay, weirdly, refers to himself as Big Daddy at one point, but you can’t help feeling that he’s the one who needs to grow up.
Hitmen (Sky One, Wednesdays, 10pm) is a vehicle for Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc as the assassins of the title. Funny in parts, but uneven, it doesn’t know how black the comedy should get.
I love Masterchef (BBC1, Mon/Weds/Fri, 9pm) – gurning Gregg excepted – but I do wish they’d end the obsession with telling us that they seared, roasted or fried everything in a pan. We know that.