After the stresses and strains of whipping up Christmas dinner, party nibbles and the other trimmings that are de rigueur over the festive season, most of us will be doing our best to avoid the kitchen for the next couple of weeks. But while thoughts of undefrosted turkeys, charcoaled potatoes and lumpy gravy might have given amateur chefs a restless night on Christmas Eve, at least they did not have the culinary equivalent of the bogeyman to deal with. Irascible celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay may have a constellation of Michelin stars to show for his gourmet creations, but, as he demonstrates in the new series of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (Asian Food Channel, today at 11pm), he didn't win them for charm. What he lacks in diplomacy, however, he more than makes up for in business acumen as he attempts to revive the fortunes of ailing restaurants. In the first episode, Ramsay heads to Hertfordshire, England, to help salvage fledgling Italian eatery La Lanterna. Having been open for less than a year, the restaurant is about to go out of business and Ramsay's arrival signals the last throw of the dice. With customer numbers dwindling fast, owner and chef Alex Scott claims he hasn't slept in four months and is #180,000 ($2.5 million) in debt. But after one meal at La Lanterna, Ramsay concludes that Scott has no one but himself to blame. The curmudgeonly cook's post-prandial comments are scathing in the extreme, describing Scott's 'authentic Italian cuisine' as 'a fraudulent imitation of 1970s Italian crap', but this seems like fawning praise compared with what follows. William S. Burroughs said the title of his novel The Naked Lunch referred to the moment when people saw 'what's on the end of every fork'; one can only wonder, then, how much more grotesque his vision might have been had he pondered what was down the back of every stove. Ramsay decides to check behind the one in La Lanterna's kitchen. Finding stale bread and mussel shells discarded in every nook and cranny, Ramsay unleashes a volley of expletives that leaves Scott lost for words. Things go from bad to worse when it transpires Scott uses packet Bechamel sauce and bottled lemon juice, and does his vegetable shopping at the Tesco supermarket, with Ramsay's subsequent comments almost caustic enough to strip the dirt from the crud-encrusted stove. With such standards more likely to attract environmental health officials than customers, Ramsay initiates a complete overhaul of the kitchen and insists on fresh produce. This is just the start, however, as he demands Scott raise capital to bolster his sickly business by selling his car and his prize possession: a number plate that reads A1 6HEF. As Ramsay's threats to 'stick that number plate up [his] a*** sideways' ring in his ear, Scott promises to pull his socks up and the pair work towards the acid test: La Lanterna's first-birthday celebration. Not wildly different from other reality-television shows, Kitchen Nightmares is set apart by Ramsay's larger-than-life personality, acid tongue and priceless facial expressions. Ready Steady Cook this isn't. Scary as Ramsay is, however, he's got nothing on the stars of The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs (ATV World, Thursday at 9.01pm). This BBC documentary takes palaeontology to a new level by revealing how clashes between various dinosaurs would have panned out. Using a blend of scientific theory, archeology, engineering know-how and prehistoric forensics, this show creates startlingly vivid computerised reconstructions of how battles between these rampaging reptiles might have been fought. The first instalment researches the heavyweight match-up between a horned Triceratops and a razor-toothed Tyrannosaurus rex. As well as using fossil evidence to determine whether such a fight would ever have taken place, scientists build mechanical replicas to simulate the awesome power of the beasts. Experiments include testing the crushing power of a T-rex's jaws (above) and making observations of a Triceratops crash-test dummy that lead to theories about its strength. The show also speculates on how the mighty adversaries would have moved, making use of a 200kg crocodile and an ostrich on a treadmill to test their theories before illustrating the titanic tussle with photo-realistic digital imagination. It may only be January 1, but this has to go down as an early contender for the most enthralling documentary of the year.