The legend that Jamie Oliver was a chance find by a television executive filming at the River Café and spotted him in a corner of the kitchen in the late 1990s has been disputed by the author of a new book. In Taste and TVChief Gilly Smith claims it was actually discovered as a result of a direct search for new talent by two top TV executives at the time.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Biting Talk podcast, author Gilly Smith reveals that Oliver “was created by producer Pat Llewellyn. She was sent by two people who were central in creating the culture. BBC television show, Jane Root and Mark Thompson. “
Smith says the couple decided to switch from food to television to education, with stars such as Delia Smith, and to “delight” viewers who, according to research at the time, said the the item that people searched for the most in their kitchen was “a sofa”.
“Pat was dispatched to find someone to match the bill and she found Jamie,” says Smith, who adds that “she saw 15 chefs and turned them down all before she found Jamie.” The rest, as they say, is history.
You can listen to the full interview for this week’s episode of Biting Talk podcast by clicking on the audio player above, which also features Ed Templeton, of London restaurant Carousel, and Clodagh McKenna, author of a new book. Clodagh Week Night Kitchen described by William Sitwell as “ the most cookable cookbook of 2020 ”.
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This notice was published: 2020-10-30 06:00:00