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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 18:18 GMT
Oliver dropped by BBC
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver: Unable to agree new deal
The BBC has dropped celebrity chef Jamie Oliver after contract talks between the two broke down.

The Naked Chef star had been trying to negotiate a new deal for his Oliver's Army, which would have seen him train a number of unemployed young people in a London restaurant.

But the corporation said in a statement it had been unable to reach a deal with Oliver, who is also seen on screen advertising supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

BBC producer guidelines disapprove of on-screen personalities becoming too closely involved with commercial tie-ins such as advertising deals.

Recently Oliver's mother, father and grandmother have joined him and his wife Jules in the advertisements.

A statement from the BBC said: "The BBC has today withdrawn from negotiations for a new series with Jamie Oliver, after being unable to agree terms.

"Having discovered Jamie and developed his career, we wish him the very best with his future ventures."

Oliver said: "I have loved working with the BBC over the last three years, and I'm very disappointed that it seems I will not be working with them on this new series.

"I still remain 100% committed to the project as it is very close to my heart."

Streetwise

Oliver's no-nonsense, streetwise style made him a hit with viewers in The Naked Chef.

As well as the lucrative deal with Sainsbury's, book deals and other tie-ins also have earned Oliver millions.

But his contract with the BBC expired in December, and he indicated he did not want to work on a new series of The Naked Chef.

He set up his own production company last year to work on a number of projects.

A BBC spokeswoman declined to comment on reports that the corporation was uneasy about Oliver's advertising work, adding that their contract talks were confidential.

But she said if the right deal could be struck, "we'd always be happy to work with Jamie".

See also:

11 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Jamie Oliver's naked sounds
23 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Oliver puts Naked Chef 'to bed'
24 Aug 00 | UK
Stars on the sell
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