"It's said that, by the age of 30, Alexander the Great had conquered the known world. Jamie Oliver, at only two years older, has conquered the hearts - and stomachs - of a nation."That’s right, we begin with an audacious comparison – Jamie Oliver, a shit chef with terrible taste in music and all the political awareness of, well, Ming Campbell, is mentioned in the same sentence as Alexander the Great. And why? Because a few people in the nation have brought the twat’s cook books or tuned into his nauseating TV shows. In short, Alexander the Great conquered the known world, Jamie Oliver (with an extra two years on young Alexander) has become a C-list celebrity. It is difficult to think of anyone less like Alexander the Great than Jamie arsing Oliver.
"Although his estimated fortune, at £25 million, is less than half that of his rival Gordon Ramsay's, the Golden Boy's influence extends far further, reaching beyond the kitchen to public service, politics and beyond."So Gordon Ramsay is more wealthy than Oliver? Who can we compare him to? Jesus fucking Christ?
"Not bad for the dyslexic son of a publican from Essex. Oliver started working in his parents' pub at five, washing out the bins, and by eight he had his own chef's knife and could "chop like a bitch"."Bet that is on his CV, too: "I can chop like a bitch."
"He left school with two GCSEs and enrolled at Westminster catering college in London. Once he'd completed the course, a brief stint in France was followed by a job at Antonio Carluccio's Neal Street Restaurant, and then at the River Café with Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray."And what a CV he has too! Two GCSEs! Catering college! Working in a restaurant! No wonder he is a millionaire with a CV that is so unique!
"It was here that his big chance came. He covered for a sick chef on his day off, and was filmed by a camera crew who were making a programme on the River Café.Fuck me, well if Pat Llewellyn of Optomen Television thinks he’s good, then he must be good. Seriously, though, who the frigging hell is Pat, and why should we give a flying fuck about what he thinks?
The morning after the show was broadcast, the phone at the River Café rang off the hook, but it wasn't a reservation the callers were after. It was Oliver. Television producers were falling over themselves to sign up the boy-chef and his palpable charisma on camera. According to Pat Llewellyn of Optomen Television, the company that Oliver finally chose, "he shone out like a beacon"."
"Oliver's first series, The Naked Chef, broadcast in 1998, captured his natural enthusiasm for food while cunningly weaving the cooking into a story about his life in a trendy flat (rented by Optomen for Jamie) with good looking, lively friends. The message was, cook like Jamie and you too could be sitting at a designer dining table surrounded by cool dudes and good looking girls."Funny, that. The message I took from the show was that if I was ever forced, presumably under the shadow of some sort of horrific and painful death, to eat with Jamie as his astonishingly annoying friends, I would probably end up stabbing them all in the eyes with a fork whilst screaming like a demented banshee. Guess this just shows how different people have different interpretations.
"The reason for the show's phenomenal success, however, was to do with Oliver himself rather than lifestyle statements. Although he was nervous of the camera, to the extent that Llewellyn was forced to throw him questions during filming, a quirk that became a trademark of the series, he made compelling viewing. His cooking was fun, sexy and no longer the effeminate preserve of Delia and Nigella."I’d say Nigella, and even Delia, are a damn sight more sexy that Oliver. And the success of the show may be down to something a tad more prosaic than Oliver’s personality – perhaps it was blind luck.
"He has a laddish turn of phrase, describing borlotti beans as the "Aston Martin of beans" and slicing potatoes "beermat" thick, which persuaded a generation of men to turn off the football and make supper for their girlfriends. Those girlfriends cooked from Oliver's books, too, attracted perhaps by their simplicity and light style. Soon it seemed that everyone was throwing together a "Jamie" for dinner."There you have it. You can be successful simply by talking like a cunt.
And how patronising and cliched is this article? All men are sat at home, watching football, and not cooking until the miracle that is Jamie Oliver comes along. Erm, no – I’m talking from personal experience here, but I never watch the football and still can’t really cook – and seeing that total shithead Oliver on the television makes me less likely to cook.
"But in 2000 the tide turned. Oliver accepted a lucrative deal to be the face of Sainsbury's, and it proved a poisoned chalice. His presence became ubiquitous. You couldn't sit down to an episode of Coronation Street without being exhorted by the cheeky foodie to buy buffalo mozzarella or lemon thyme."This maybe one of the reasons why I hate Oliver so much. I was working for Sainsbury’s at the time this Mockney Cunt was made the face of the organisation. The company was going downhill, bonuses weren’t being paid, but still the Board was forking out millions to Oliver for an atrocious ad campaign. I know it was Sainsbury’s choice to do so, but Oliver still accepted the deal. But still couldn’t bring his family to shop in the Supermarket chain he represented.
"The BBC dropped Oliver, and the press turned on him, calling him a "fake", a "mockney", and even describing his style as "Benny from Crossroads does cooking". Clarissa Dickson Wright, another outspoken television cook, branded him a "whore" for promoting the supermarket's farmed salmon. Then he was ranked 28 in Channel 4's poll of 100 Worst Britons. It looked like the Jamie phenomenon was over."In truth, "Benny from Crossroads does cooking" did make me laugh. But it probably goes without saying at this stage that I would have rated Oliver higher in my list of the 100 Worst Britons. Not Number One, you understand – not with the likes of Simon Hughes still in the national eye. But most probably in the Top Five.
"Cannily, he had already moved on. His plan to give 15 troubled young people a second chance by training them as chefs was taking shape, and this time his own production company, Fresh One Productions, was filming the story. The BBC turned it down, a decision they were doomed to regret, and Jamie's Kitchen aired on Channel 4."Was it really him being canny that meant he had moved on? Or the fact that he had no fucking choice as the BBC had dropped him like a shitty stick?
"It quickly became the most talked about show in town. Oliver was a revelation. The 26-year-old showed patience and perseverance far beyond his years, combined with a real understanding and empathy for the mismatched, dysfunctional youths on his team."If we want to praise people for showing "understanding and empathy" for "mismatched, dysfunctional youths" perhaps we could praise, I don’t know, social workers or psychotherapists, who often do their work for little more than the minimum wage plus tips. Rather than a poorly educated fucktard who is deigning to interact with just 15 dysfunctional youths simply to advance his floundering career in the limelight.
"When we wanted to knock some of the ungrateful trainees' heads together, Oliver would sigh, sit down and talk it over with them, looking for a solution, again and again. The cynical tried their best to expose him as a fake, the operation as a cheat and a scam. But, fittingly for the man who has endorsed a whole range of Teflon pans, none of the mud would stick. Oliver was once again a national hero."Of course, I would never dream of questioning the motives of Saint Jamie, but perhaps he was patient because that made for better TV. After all, Jamie’s Kitchen would have been a much shorter programme if he had told them all to go and fuck themselves in Episode One. Maybe there is something philanthropic in the results of what Oliver did, but I think you also have to concede that he gained a lot himself from that apparent philanthropy.
"Oliver's campaigning streak found further outlet in his next project, improving the lamentably poor school dinners in this country. This time he combined grassroots action (sorting out the meals in Kidbrooke School, Greenwich) with big guns. He met with the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Essex chef's straight talking impressed him so much that he pledged an extra £280 million over three years to raise the standard of school dinners."No, what really impressed Blair was the chance to jump on a populist bandwagon at the taxpayer’s expense.
"When the show, School Dinners, aired in 2005, Oliver's battle with the obtuse nature of government bureaucracy, both on a local and national level, was as fascinating to watch as his struggle to persuade the children to eat his homemade food. Few parents can have failed to empathise."It is very telling of the simplistic outlook of Mr Oliver that he thinks by restricting the choices available to people, he will fundamentally change their behaviour. Because kids won’t go looking for junk food outside of school if they can’t get it in school. Perhaps this is another reason why he got on so well with the uber fascist, Tony Blair. The message from School Dinners is "you don’t have a right to choose. Me, Jamie Oliver, is going to make the choice for you."
"What makes Jamie Oliver such a heart-warming figure is that he stands up for core values, for home-cooking, decent food and proper parenting. Sometimes that seems reactionary: he's said to have wanted his wife Jools to stay at home and look after the children, an attitude that would have had the feminists of a decade ago foaming at the mouth."I’d imagine that attitude would still have a lot of feminists foaming at the mouth. And again, this hero worship of Oliver for standing up for "home-cooking, decent food and proper parenting" is utterly misplaced – because he really isn’t alone in standing up for those things. In fact, pretty much the whole of Middle England stands for the same things.
"His rigidity over healthy school dinners led to a few parents handing takeaways over the school fence to their burger-deprived children."I don’t know, maybe those parents felt aggravated that they were being patronised by a TV chef with two GCSEs and a course at Westminster catering college. I know I would have been.
"The same people were probably incensed when he branded as "idiots" parents who put fizzy drinks and crisps into children's lunchboxes. But most of us think he's right, and applaud him for his bravery in speaking up."Yep, I would have been incensed by that too. Because, as my erstwhile colleague and friend the Moai constantly and rightly points out to me, it is far fucking easier for Jamie Oliver to spend the time and money on getting his kids to eat healthily with a vast fucking fortune behind him and a stay-at-home wife. Maybe a lot of people were incensed by Oliver’s comments because they showed him to be an ignorant cunt with no understanding of the real world.
"True, he's no angel. His language is sometimes colourful, but he generally gets away with it, as he seems to be swearing because he cares, rather than because he's throwing a Gordon Ramsay-style tantrum. He won't put on a tie, and his habit of wearing trainers with a suit may shock old-schoolers, although it did inspire the outfit of the current super-cool Dr Who."That’s Doctor Who, not Dr Who. And FYI, Telegraph, if you are going to make a point of Oliver not wearing tie, it is probably better not to have a picture of him wearing a tie attached to the fucking article. Small points, I know, but worth bearing in mind.
"His youth, of course, is enormously appealing. He's the nation's favourite son, husband, father. Those televised rows with Jools on Jamie's Kitchen served only to make him more normal, like one of us, and he is conspicuously a family man.So we should admire Oliver because he is not an ignorant fuckwit like Beckham or a junkie scumbag like Peter Doherty? Ok, but doesn’t that mean we should admire pretty much everyone else in the fucking country other than the two dickheads cited in this shit stain of an article?
In that sense he has much in common with David Beckham, but whereas Beckham is fumbling and inarticulate off the pitch, Oliver is a communicator who's prepared to fight for what he believes in, including the disadvantaged. He's the antidote to another contemporary, musician and hellraiser Pete Doherty. By contrast, Oliver, universally liked and admired by his peers, is proof that hard work and clean living can reap rewards."
"While I admire Jamie the campaigner, I love Jamie the cook, and it's a relief to see him back in the kitchen with Jamie at Home. Jamie is clearly at home in a lot of places: the programme will air in 14 countries to satisfy his global army of fans. This popularity is well deserved. He's got new verve and confidence in front of the camera, and his talk has matured from the onamatopeic language of his twenties, peppered with words such as "pukka" and "doollally" and "bish bash bosh"."So now he has hit his thirties, he has stopped talking like a twat. Fuck-a-doodle-do. Go Jamie!
"While there's a geekiness about his weird gyrating and hand gestures, it's in a cool, unselfconscious way. The new recipes focus on the produce from his garden, most recently the very British runner bean, and take his already well established interest in fresh, local ingredients to a new level. His recipes are among the best out there, and unlike those of some other famous chefs, they are reliable, and often utterly delicious.And we come full circle – a Mockney Cunt TV chef is again compared to Alexander the Great. Jesus H Christ, doesn’t The Daily Telegraph have an editor to watch out for this sort of mindless hyperbole?
Alexander the Great move over. It's the age of Jamie the Great."
I know, I know, my hatred of Oliver far outstrips his actual impact on my life. And in fairness, I would also jump at the opportunity if someone gave me the chance to become a multi-millionaire for little more than being irritating on a cosmic scale on TV. But it is more what Oliver stands for that disgusts me. And I will keep in banging on about Oliver and his utterly undeserved success, because it sums up quite nicely why this country is so compellingly fucked. If we lived in a true meritocracy, Oliver would be flipping burgers in McDonalds. Not being lauded in a broadsheet newspaper whilst enjoying a millionaire lifestyle.
And go read this article for a more accurate representation of Oliver than the one in the Telegraph.