Meister Masonry grotesques seen on The One Show

Did you see the BBC magazine programme The One Show on 4 December? If you did you will have seen chef Gordon Ramsey and comedian Greg Davies receiving grotesques of themselves after a report on grotesques and gargoyles, featuring some at Paisley Abbey, Gloucester Cathedral and Windsor Castle.

Gordon and Greg were guests on the show that evening and to tie them in with the feature the show's producers wanted to give them grotesques of cartoon likenesses of themselves. They contacted the Stone Federation, who suggested they call Meister Masonry in Painswick, Gloucestershire, who had won the Craftsmanship Award in the 2012 Stone Awards for their renovation of the war memorial at Prestbury.

Melissa Heather, the Managing Director of Meister, says the BBC called on 27 November and said they wanted the two carved caricatures for the show one week later and, by the way, they only had a budget of £400 for them!

Melissa told them such a commission would normally involve the making and approval of maquettes but that there would be no time for that.

The job was given to Meister's head carver, David Bean, who used relatively soft Bath Stone for the project in order to get it done in time. He decided on some features that characterised the two personalities – lines on the forehead of Gordon Ramsey while he had Greg Davies pulling a funny face – and put in some overtime to get them finished.

The grotesques were finished on the day of the broadcast of The One Show, which goes out live, and Melissa jumped in her car to take them to the studio for The One Show. She got them there at 3pm. The show goes live at 7pm.

When they were presented to Greg and Gordon, Greg was delighted and put the carving up to his face and pulled the same face. Gordon seemed less impressed with his and then dropped it on his foot. It did not break the carving, although it was said to have broken his toe.

Meister Masonry received no recognition for their work on The One Show as the BBC is not allowed to advertise, but Melissa has gained publicity for her firm on the local BBC radio station and in the local newspaper for having been on The One Show. She even managed to drop in a mention of the Award she received for the Prestbury War Memorial on the radio.

Afterwards Melissa told Natural Stone Specialist that she had been rather taken aback by the time frame The One Show had expected the work to be carried out in and the fact that they hardly wanted to pay anything for it. But, she says: "It was a bit of fun."