Obviously we don't all hate him, just about 90% of the UK population hate him. The 10% of the population who like Jamie Oliver include Jamie's family, his collection of imaginary friends, his sponsors - Sainsbury's and the barking mad people who have bought his cookery books The Naked Chef, The Return of the Naked Chef, &
Happy Days with the Naked Chef and will doubtless buy his brand new book Jamie's Kitchen too (sadly these people amount to millions).
Who is Jamie Oliver? Well if you live in the States there's a fair chance you haven't heard of him. If you live in the UK and you have a TV, come on... Do you switch it on occasionally? If so, you will see this mockney "chef" gracing your screens on countless adverts for Sainsbury's supermarket and also you'll see him as the "Naked Chef" "Ith not me thath naked me old darlingth ith the food. I've thripped it down to ith raw ingredienth" he'll say in his introduction, you've probably guessed he has a lisp.
Jamie has this great ability to cause emotions in people. Love him or hate him. You can't really be indifferent to him. My husband really liked his first TV series. I really liked his second TV series. By the third series we both wanted to hurl the trusty Magi Mix (food mixer) at the TV.
From a refreshingly different TV chef who was
a bit overcome by his own success, Jamie turned into a cocky mockney self centred, ego-maniac who wheeled on a collection of imaginary friends to try his food. Not content with having to see Jamie and his amazingly smug wife Jools &
all of their friends having it large to the strains of the latest BritPop bands, (thanks Jamie for kindly bringing out an album pluggin all your fave toons) and last year we had to put up with his Gran -- yes his Gran -- running around Sainsbury's with him.
You can just imagine the ad agency.
"Yeah, Jamie Oliver, he's good isn't he, young, trendy a bit of a lad a bit of a geezer, people love him"
"But don't you think the public are getting a bit tired of him?"
"Nah, they love his boyish looks, his babyish lisp, his little puppy dog face"
"Hmm... not entirely convinced"
"Well throw in some of his family then. His wife's a bit of a looker, didn't she used to be a model?"
"Hmm, not exactly high on the personality stakes though."
"What about Tiger?"
"His Gran. Lovely old dear, white hair, fluffy slippers. Mockney accent too"
"Now you're talking. The public will love her. The Brits love puppies and loveable old dears. Sign her up now. Hopefully she'll be cheaper than Jamie".
So why did we have to listen to Jamie Oliver's Gran on the radio extolling the virtues of Sainsburys. Isn't this all a bit too much?
One of the things I hate about Jamie too, apart from his lisp, his vast apartment with a baseball hoop in it, the way he slides down the banister like the overgrown kid that he is, his scooter, the way he is best buddies with all of the people
in his local shops, the huge herb garden on his windowsill, the fact that he earns millions and
his constant change of T-shirts throughout his show, is his bloody ACCENT.
I've mentioned mockney quite a few times. To the uninitiated a mockney is a Mock Cockney. Someone who thinks that being a cockney is trendy and despite the fact they were bought up in Cambridge (absolutely nowhere near London), persist on trying to sound as if they were born within the sounds of the Bow Bells (a true definition of a cockney). Being a Cockney myself, I know that it isn't a great advantage to sound like a Cockney. My accent has mellowed and I certainly don't look back on the fact that I don't really sound like a Cockney any more.
So to hear some buffoon getting off and making loads of money by saying "Pukka", "Lovely Jubbly", "Alwroight" "Darlink" and other mockney phrases is ever so slightly galling (The Food Network have provided a handy "dictionary" of his phrases for viewers in the US.).
It's not just me either. If you look up Jamie Oliver in the search engine Google, 4th entry on the list is Hairy Tongue.com (sadly now closed). It was a collection of over 200 photo montages of Jamie which let's just say aren't too complimentary. Be warned before you check it out the language is very, very strong and is not for the easily offended. However, it means that several hundred people dislike Mr Oliver enough to spend time making insulting parody posters of him. I almost feel sorry for him. And what's this about his new restaurant Fifteen - Jamie takes some unemployed street urchins & tries to turn them into first class chefs and then puts the whole thing on TV in his new series on Channel 4 - Jamie's Kitchen.......bless. Watch the screens if you are in the UK from the 5th November (appropriate launch night!) Poor old Jamie, if the reports are to believed, nearly lost his house on this little number as apparently evil Hackney Council wouldn't give him planning permission to use extractor fans in the new restaurant. However a little search on the net throws a bit of doubt onto this:
"The rethurant stuff is juth driving me mad, I mean really mad," Oliver was quoted as saying. "It'th not my fault and it'th my money on the line."
The Hackney Council responded that it was not to blame, accusing Oliver of cooking up a storm. A cynic might read it as all part of a carefully scripted plot to drum up interest in the eatery and the TV show." - The Courier Mail - Australia
I'll say no more.
Now having seen most episodes of Jamie's Kitchen, I still think Mr Oliver may have bitten off more than he can chew. The kids from London were really raw, knew jib all about food, were surly and even from episode one you could see they had attitude problems. I honestly don't see why you would put your house on the line, if not for a publicity stunt. (Jamie mortgaged his house to come up with money for the restaurant)
For most of the series Jamie looked uncharacteristcally downcast & rather like one of the kids himself. This was particularly so when the college tutors were telling him about his prized fifteen new recruits playing truant and not paying attention in class. We can only assume "the book that accompanies the series" has nothing to do with the series and is just a collection of Jamie's recipes - makes mortgaging your house seem a bit less risky now!
Anyway my rant is done. I'm sure Jamie is a fine cook. He had a great apprenticeship at Westminster Catering College, the River Café in Hammersmith and is now consultant chef in his own restaurant Montes. His food looks good, so perhaps that's all that matters and if he's got "geezers", "blokes" and ordinary men thinking that cookery is trendy that's only to be encouraged too.
Anyway good luck to you Jamie (cockney speak for "You Bastard"). Stop Press - Oh My God - Jamie Oliver has been given an MBE and he wasn't wearing a tie! Also can be seen in the States on The Food Network on Wednesdays at 9:30 pm and 1:30 am and Saturdays at 6:30 pm. All times ET/PT. He can be seen on TV in the UK at any time you watch a commercial break. PS. AnotherSun has received loads of emails to me as a result of this article calling me a fat lesbian and a stupid bitch for daring to speak out against the "wonderful Jamie". Well I'm not a fat lesbian...well not a lesbian anyway and I'm only reporting my opinions plus the many hundreds of people who have built personal webpages about the "mockney" Mr Oliver. Also Jamie Oliver is more than capable of defending himself and frankly I wouldn't have thought he would be remotely bothered by my article or the varous photo montages. In fact loads of Jamie's books have been sold off the back of this very article so he's making money even from my "evil" opinions - so don't bother wasting your time by emailing me or ranting to AnotherSun - build your own site in praise of Jamie instead! EDITOR - Contrary to popular opinion Mecca Ibrahim does not hate all TV Chefs and in fact loves Nigella Lawson & The Two Fat Ladies. Check out her homage to Nigella and
The Two Fat Ladies here.