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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Oliver 'shocked' by backlash
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver was dropped by the BBC
TV chef and author Jamie Oliver has admitted he was shocked by the recent media backlash against him.

Oliver told the Observer's magazine, Life, that he felt hurt by criticism that his "pukka" lifestyle, portrayed in the adverts for Sainsbury's supermarkets and on his BBC programme The Naked Chef, was faked.

The corporation recently dropped him after contract talks broke down.


I work hard, everything I do is positive, so I couldn't see any reason why the press would aggro me

Jamie Oliver
Oliver admitted the media criticism took him aback.

He said: "It was a shock, because I thought it would never happen.

"It's not like I got caught smoking joints or doing cocaine or anything.

"I'm quite boring, I've been with the same girl for nine years, I work hard, everything I do is positive, so I couldn't see any reason why the press would aggro me. But then it did."

Lucrative

The celebrity chef recently celebrated the birth of his baby girl, Poppy.

Oliver said he is coming to terms with fatherhood, despite his aversion to changing nappies.

Oliver trained with top chef Antonio Carluccio
Oliver trained with top chef Antonio Carluccio
He said: "I hate bodily functions. I try to approach it like a mechanic: you know, if something's wrong, work from one end to the other."

Oliver, who has sold five million cookery books, is currently working on setting up a non-profit making restaurant in east London, where he is training 15 underprivileged youngsters to become chefs.

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

He started out as an apprentice to some of the top chefs in the UK, including Antonio Carluccio at the Neal Street Restaurant and then under Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at the River Café.

It was there that he was spotted by a television producer, which led to the Naked Chef series.

See also:

22 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Oliver dropped by BBC
23 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Oliver puts Naked Chef 'to bed'
11 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Jamie Oliver's naked sounds
24 Aug 00 | UK
Stars on the sell
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