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Outspoken Janet swears by a simpler life down on the farm

Janet Street-Porter makes her F Word colleague Gordon Ramsay's use of expletives seem minor in comparison.

Since beating Gordon in a cook-off on the first series of F Word – a panel of judges preferred her baked figs – Janet has appeared on the show as an intrepid field reporter.

"Gordon and I get on really well," she says. "I love that he has an element of fear in his eyes when I get too close. We're OK as long as we're not in competition.

"He really got the hump on that first series because I beat him by mashing a load of Fortnum & Mason mincemeat into vanilla ice cream, which is like the slut's guide to luxury food," she adds, howling with laughter.

"Then I beat him with a fish stew, which he really got the hump about and accused me of colouring it unnaturally, but I'm just very good at making fish stew, then I beat him with a baked apple and he got mad about that, too. I don't think we'll be cooking against each other again. He doesn't like losing."

In the last series of the show, 62-year-old Janet was charged with raising some veal calves to slaughter in a bid to find out more about the controversial meat.

This time around she's raising the ingredients of a mixed grill near her home in North Yorkshire.

"I'm not doing it by myself, I am being helped by a farmer, but I've got a smallholding about 10 miles from Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire. I've got these Dexter cattle, which are cute, short-legged animals and the beef is delicious. They are frisky, too. When I chose them they stamped on my foot, just as the breeder was telling me how friendly they were."

There are also some Ixworth chickens, although Janet thinks they're boring.

"My partner wants to have more chickens but I think they're too stupid. Plus, I don't want them pecking at my herb garden," she says.

Born in London in the 1940s, Janet trained in architecture before dropping out of college to begin a successful career in the media. Her new book Don't Let The B*****ds Get You Down, echoes some of her various columns in The Daily Mail and The Independent.

She rails against most things; shopping in particular, but eating out, money, saving on energy bills, breaking up with your partner and wardrobe makeovers aren't spared either. Gardening, too, gets a kicking, which is odd considering it's an activity so close to Janet's heart. She refers to the garden of her North Yorkshire house as a "temple of perfection" and grows all her own vegetables.

"I'm a huge fan of gardening. It's really enjoyable, but don't delude yourself that it's cheaper," she says. "My tomatoes, I'm not growing them any more. Not only do they cost a fortune, they let you down. People like Monty Don make it all look easy. He's always putting his hands in the soil and coming up with these amazing carrots. If I put my hands in the soil, I'll pull something up that looks like it's been forked, or a carrot fly will have got at it and it'll be full of holes."

The next time you see Janet might well be on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here Now, ITV2's spin-off show to the main event.

"I'm going out to Australia," she says.

"I can say what I want because I did my stint in there already."

As if Janet needed an excuse to say what she wants.

Gordon Ramsay's F Word is on Tuesday evenings on Channel 4. Don't Let the B*****ds Get You Down by Janet Street-Porter is published by Quadrille, priced 14.99. To order a copy from the Yorkshire Post Bookshop, call free on 0800 0153232 or go online at www.yorkshirepostbookshop.co.uk. Postage and packing is 2.75.

 
 
 

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