'Wave warrior' Gordon Ramsay tackles the Australian surf

The macho celebrity chef, who prides himself on his physical prowess, must have been "amped" - Aussie surfing slang for "excited" - with his progress during a two-hour surfing lesson Down Under
 Photo: © Rex

Tough-guy TV chef Gordon Ramsay took a break from the kitchen, and the controversy he's generated during a cookery tour Down Under, to chill out with a classic Aussie pastime.

The volatile restaurateur – who was forced to apologise after a public spat with a popular female TV presenter – went surfing with a pal, despite a media warning to watch out for sharks off the Gold Coast because of unseasonably mild weather.

Before hitting the beach, 42-year-old Gordon commented that the swell "looked a bit small" – a remark he took back after two strenuous hours attempting to master the waves under guidance from an instructor.

"He had a ball but was taken aback by how strong the waves could get and the fact that once you get out there, it's actually a lot bigger than it looks from the beach," said instructor Brad Conroy.

By the end of the lesson the TV cook - who's had lessons in Los Angeles and is known for his physical fitness as a regular marathon runner – could congratulate himself on being able to get to his feet.

The local press were certainly impressed with one paper, hailing him a 'wave warrior' for his rapid progress.