Ainsley Harriott in a chef's hat

Ainsley Harriott

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Ainsley Harriott is a British celebrity cook and television presenter. He is best known for presenting the TV cooking show Ready, Steady, Cook. Online, he's mostly known for his memorable facial expressions and the dirty humor often present in his speeches.

Television Career

In 1995, Harriott became the resident chef on the British daytime show Good Morning with Anne and Nick and also the host chef on the British game and cooking show Can't Cook, Won't Cook. In 2000, Harriott began hosting Ready, Steady, Cook, where the public provide two celebrity chefs a series of ingredients and they had to use them to make several dishes. Since then Hansley has presented more straightforward how-to-cook programmes such as Ainsley's Barbecue Bible, Ainsley's Meals in Minutes, Ainsley's Big Cook Out and Ainsley's Gourmet Express.

Online Presence

Arround December 2010, a picture of Ainsley spicing a salad became viral on 4chan's /v/ (Video Games) board and has since spread to other boards, mostly because of his grin, which some users pointed out to resemble a trollface and a rape face. Users of /v/ began photoshopping his face into pictures of various video games and proclaimed him to be "the king of /v/," with the face of the original salad image becoming an exploitable template a month later. The spice picture also became the inspiration for parody (shown below, right).


Another Ainsley picture that has gone viral is one where he puts oil on a pan, often acompained with the quote "Looks like it's time to oil up" (shown below, left and center).

On June 29th, 2012, Redditor[3] hughi94 started the /r/AinsleyHarriott subreddit. The group, which has garnered more than 1,100 subscribers in five years, shares photoshopped images of Harriott as well as images inspired his various memes. October 1st, 2014, the /r/ainsleyeveryday subreddit was created, posting the same photo of Ainsley with a white shirt everyday until March 2nd, 2015 (shown bellow, right).[2]


On July 2nd, 2013, YouTuber Daemon Harte uploaded a video called "Ainsley Harriott and his spicy meat", consisting of a cut from Ainsley's Barbecue Bible where he prepares jerk chicken and spreads his marinade over the chicken while making a dirty joke.[5] As of March 21st, 2015, the video gathered over one milion views. On May 4th, 2014, YouTuber h3h3Productions uploaded "ainsley harriott exe", featuring supercuts from Ainsley's Barbecue Bible. In less than, a year the video gained over one million views.

On April 19th, 2014, YouTuber Filthy Frank uploaded a 10-minute version of his song "gibe de pusi b0ss", featuring a close shot of Ainsley's face on the spice photo. The video gained over 760,000 in less than a year. On


Harriott has fervent fanbase, who love his antics. In May 2015, Jordan Harris started a petition[7] to have his visage placed on the £20 note. In the description, he wrote, "Ainsley Harriott is an oily god, it is only right he gets his glory on the £20 note." As of 2018, the petition had more than 23,000 signatures.


In 2007, some viewers and food hygienists of the BBC 2 series Ready Steady Cook called for Harriott's firing, calling his approach to cooking unhygienic. Harriott, who's style includes tasting food while contestants and chefs cook by touching the food with his fingers, was derided by viewers.

David Robinson, from the Health and Hygiene department at East Hants district council, said:[6]

"Ainsley Harriott comes across as a very entertaining character but he has got to be more careful.

"Most chefs have to taste their food to adjust the seasoning but it is one thing preparing food in your own home and quite another for other people in front of TV cameras – especially when you're talking about uncooked foods where germs that have been introduced cannot be killed.

"Obviously it is a very unsexy thing to be washing your hands between every stage of a dish but this is really what Ainsley should be doing to avoid the risk of cross-contamination and to stop setting such a bad example."

Personal Life

Ainsley Harriott was born on February 28th, 1957 in London.[1] He married former costume designer Clare Fellows, the youngest sister of comedian actor Graham Fellows. They have two children. In November 2012, the couple were reported to have separated while remaining on good terms.

Search Interest

External References

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