Morrissey delivers foie gras slap to Gordon Ramsay
Morrissey delivers foie gras slap to Gordon Ramsay

Pop star Morrissey is funding an anti-foie gras campaign that targets celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay with compensation money from Channel 4 - paid out by the broadcaster for using his music to soundtrack a Ramsay programme.

The singer, who made his name with the Smiths in the 80s, said Ramsay should "stick his head in a microwave" as a campaign to get the controversial food product banned started to heat up.

Morrissey has put £10,000 - won from Channel 4 for using one of his songs in a Ramsay programme without his permission - into a new advert campaign by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) against foie gras, a luxury delicacy that is made by force-feeding ducks or geese to fatten up their livers. A series of billboards will go up across London condemning the paté.

Chief targets of the campaign are Ramsay and upmarket grocer Fortnum & Mason, which sells foie gras despite its production being illegal in Britain.

Ramsay has been accused by animal rights activists of sourcing foie gras from a poultry farm that has allegedly ignored guidelines laid down to avoid animal cruelty.

Morrissey said: "Ramsay may very well stick his head in his microwave when he hears that the money I received from Channel 4 because one of my songs was used to promote his Christmas show is being donated to Peta to fight foie gras.

"Foie gras is so cruelly produced that he'd be against it if he had an ethical bone in his body."

Gordon Ramsay's restaurant uses cruelly produced foie gras, allege PETA
Gordon Ramsay\'s restaurant uses cruelly produced foie gras, alleges Peta

Peta said the campaign would be "entirely funded" by Morrissey's donation. Associate director Mimi Bekhechi said: "Morrissey is putting his money where his mouth is and combating cruelty to animals."

A Fortnum & Masons spokesman defended the retailer's stance. "Foie gras is sold in shops throughout the UK, and is used in many top restaurants," he said.

"We do understand that it is not to some people's taste, and we respect their right to make their feelings known.

"However, foie gras has been on sale at Fortnum's down the centuries, and a sizeable number of our customers enjoy it. We believe they should have the freedom to choose whether to buy it or not."

To produce foie gras, pipes are forced down birds' throats and large amounts of grain and fat are then pumped into their stomachs several times a day, to make their livers swell to up to 10 times the normal size.

Ramsay has not responded to allegations made by Peta.