'I'm looking for someone who can weather the storm. Inspire individuals. Stand as a great leader,' says irascible British chef Gordon Ramsay, surveying his 12 charges on the reality-TV show Hell's Kitchen (Asian Food Channel, Wednesdays at 10pm). He has his work cut out since most of them don't appear to have a clue about cooking - even though half are chefs. Ramsay is running 'a hot new restaurant' in Hollywood, California. The trainees are divided into two teams, with each group preparing food for half of the restaurant. Every week, the most competent chef from the team that has performed the worst will be asked to nominate two team mates for elimination, one of whom will be told by Ramsay to leave. The prize for the last remaining chef: their own restaurant. The setting might be a little artificial, and the diners' outrage when their food takes 90 minutes to appear is contrived, but this is superb television, if only because it brings out the uglier side of people's characters - which is always entertaining viewing. By the end of episode one, cracks are appearing in the camaraderie between the team members and it's every man for himself. 'I have two dreams in my life,' says Andrew, a contestant. 'One is to be a state senator, the other is to own a restaurant. And if all this fails, welcome to politics.' He might be a lousy cook but after observing him in the kitchen, he could make a great politician. The search for America's next great chef gets off to a volatile start, and the quest for its next great inventor, in American Inventor (ATV World, Saturdays at 8pm, right), doesn't bode well either. From thousands of entries (from the noble to the lunatic), four judges, from the worlds of marketing, advertising, business and inventing, must pick 12 finalists, one of whom will win US$1 million and a chance to have their invention mass-produced. 'You might think this competition is about inventions but it is about so much more. It's about hope, it's about passion. American Inventor is about the American dream,' says Mary Lou Quinlan, marketing expert and one of the judges. And the contestants will do anything to realise that dream. They've sold their houses, left their wives; one of them has even sacrificed a kidney. So who's in the running? Will it be Kathy Jacobs and her edible snow globes ('I've tried and failed a lot. But nothing stops me. I'm like the Terminator.') Or how about James Berry and his Walk Buddy, a stick to ward off mountain lions and muggers? 'Is your invention a stick?' interjects a judge. 'It's a wand, actually,' says an exasperated Berry. Perhaps it'll be Mark Martinez, a handyman who has already put US$20,000 towards funding his invention: a sand-bag shovel: 'I'm sure it's all going to be worth it in the end,' he says. 'You have to make a little sacrifice to make a great gain.' Or how about George Brown and his smoke gun, which is for flavouring food and de-fleaing dogs? American Inventor has laughter, tears, defiance, frustration and anger. It's from the same producers as the wildly successful American Idol and, while it's unlikely to become as much of a talking-point, it's still immensely watchable. Love it or hate it, John Lennon's Imagine is probably the most famous song in the world. From Liverpool, England, to Saitama, Japan, Lennon's memory is kept alive and he is revered as an almost Christ-like figure. Imagine, Imagine (ATV World, Thursday at 8pm) philosophises about the influence of his song and the power of imagination throughout the history of the world, from ancient times to 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The documentary is beautifully devised - there's no narration, just subtitles and interviews - and Lennon fans will love the previously unseen footage of the late star and Yoko Ono. But you might be left asking: was Imagine just a very good song? And is this programme just a bit too clever for its own good?