Celebrity? You can keep it

gordon.jpgIt’s been said before that celebrity entrepreneurs are the new celebrity chefs. It was with interest then that I read comments in today’s CityA.M. from Herbert Berger, Michelin-starred head chef at London’s lauded One Lombard Street, condemning the fame hungry antics of his peers.After labelling some of TV’s biggest stars ‘spoilt divas’, ‘petulant children’ and ‘attention seekers’ he asserts: “It is time for the profession to return to the kitchen and decide between food or fame. Let’s return some dignity to what is – for some of us at least – a civilised profession.”I think we can safely say Gordon Ramsay won’t be losing too much sleep over Berger’s outburst; while the argument celebrity chefs have done anything other than strengthen the food industry is tenuous at best.For entrepreneurs though, there might be a stronger case. Earlier this week I sat with two bosses of ambitious, expanding companies who’ve both done a bit of TV, as they concurred neither of them was in a rush to do anymore.“It might give you profile but profile doesn’t run your business or generate profit,” was the consensus.One was at the meeting having turned down a show due to hit ITV’s schedule in the autumn because it involved eight weeks away filming – what entrepreneur can happily take EIGHT weeks out of their business?!Before you start throwing the now household names of Dragons’ Den or Alan Sugar at me, they don’t count. They’ve made their fortunes, they’ve nice big senior management teams taking care of the day-to-day. In turn, I'm sure it's not the Gordon Ramsays of the food world, Berger's vitrol is aimed at.Mind you, I’d question if even Gordon or ‘Sir Alan’ would be comfortable with leaving their businesses for eight weeks.Celebrity? You can keep it.

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