Now I appreciate that my eyesight would not be 20:20 without strong contact lenses. But surely I'm not the only one who thinks facial prosthetics are about as convincing as shoving a paper bag over your head and drawing a face on. Or am I?

Following in the illustrious footsteps of Mrs Doubtfire, The Nutty Professor... and, ahem, Ant and Dec Undercover, Gordon Ramsay is donning a latex 'disguise' for a series of supposedly comic interludes in his new Cookalong series (9pm, Channel 4, Fridays).

Last week he became James, a retired Scottish teacher, on a mission to attend saint Delia's cookery course without being rumbled.

"Don't make me pretend to be a tree ", he protested to the two drama coaches roped in to help - which was ironic given the wooden performances that followed.

First, Ramsay tested out his new persona on a couple of mates. Angela Hartnett took all of about five seconds to work out who was on the end of the phone. A face-to-face with Jean-Christophe Novelli was no more successful, the French chef peering at his face intently before pretending it was his smell and gladiator-like thighs rather than the crap disguise that gave him away.

Yet, mysteriously, 'James' managed to fool Delia. The pay off predictably saw Ramsay driving to Norwich City Football Club to come clean. Delia looked nonplussed. She wasn't the only one.

Back in the studio, the cookalong with Patsy Kensit was contrived TV mayhem of the lowest order. When he wasn't exchanging fruity banter with his hapless helper, Ramsay was jumping around as if in need of the toilet, barking unintelligible instructions . Not even the volunteers cooking along at home were able to follow what was going on, as was evident when the big reveal came (the salmon en croute was more like salmon en crumbs).

Bring back Tiswas, I say, though as with that early masterclass in chaotic live TV, the fact that events were happening in real time did add a certain frisson to proceedings, especially when Ramsay tried to talk to a participant at home, only to be studiously ignored. I should have done the same - no amount of latex could disguise this woeful offering.