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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Jamie Oliver: Wannabe Popstar

29 October 2018
In light of Jamie Oliver’s recent Punchy Jerk Rice debacle, Dan Guthrie dives into his painful past as a wannabe popstar...

You know Jamie Oliver, don’t you? He’s the cheeky chappy celeb chef who’s round face has been gracing our TV screens for the past twenty years or so.

Everyone and their mothers has at least one of his books, and they’ve all got a recipe of his that they swear by. He’s the everyman, the chef of the people, the Joe Bloggs who can do fancy things with aubergines, and we love him for it.

Yeah, he may have rubbed a few people up the wrong way over the years. Who can forget the removal of British institution Turkey Twizzlers from the school dinner menu, prompting uproar from parents across the country. And also the fact that one of his children has the middle name ‘Rocket’ – presumably taken from the salad leaf rather than the spaceship.

Little bit controversial, but most of the time he’s perfectly fine.

However, there’s one controversial element of his past that he seems to have hidden pretty well. Something that I had to dig deep into the dark corners of the internet to watch.

Dear reader, let me present to you: The Lamb Curry song

Who on earth told Jamie that the best way to try and teach people how to cook was not via the tried and tested mediums of literature or television, but music?

Jamie’s natural singing voice seems to be some sort of undecipherable Essex-via-Barbados accent, and as a result, makes his Lamb Curry recipe impossibly hard to follow.

In fact, it’s so hard to understand what the man is saying that some language-learning websites use the song to teach their students how to understand regional English accents:


Click here to give it a go yourself!

From the cutaways in the video, it looks like Jamie is performing his ode to Indian cooking to a full amphitheatre of bemused spectators.

However, I can tell you with absolute certainty that none of them expected that the Lamb Curry spectacle was going to close Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days Live experience. People wouldn’t have come if they knew the big finale was the Lamb Curry song.

What follows is an extremely accurate brief summation of what was going through the audience’s heads when the song began to play:

*clapping in the way you do when a small child is running around your house and you’re trying to draw them away from that very nice vase that’s about to topple*

Woman in the background: Wishing for the sweet release of death or the end of the song, whichever comes sooner.

Teenager or forty year old man, impossible to tell: Drowning under a tidal wave of second hand shame.

Woman in the foreground: That smile you’re forced to give when that ‘family friend’ you haven’t seen since you were 4 comes round for lunch

“Do you like it when your heroes lose?” ~ Put That Away and Talk to Me by James Blake

But the biggest question that arises from this all is why is nobody singing along?

Two reasons for this one:

  1. Nobody knows this song because Jamie Oliver isn’t a famous popstar
  2. Nobody wants to admit they know this song because: shame

Simple. But….

Why do I now have the hots for Jamie Oliver?

There is no way on earth Jamie intended for this to be sexy. He looks like he’s just stumbled out of a Fat Face/Jacamo collab shoot circa 2003. The accent is quite frankly disturbing, and he sings about a food processor at one point.

But at the same time… he’s playing with fire. He’s chopping those vegetables mighty fine. He’s going hard on those drums. Heck, he even screams “gonna give it to ya hot” at the end in the way that a sexually frustrated teenager would do when he’s looking at himself in the mirror before a first date.

The sheer audacity of the man to get up on stage and go along with this truly tragic charade (probably because his PR person told him to) has increased his Hotness Rating™ by at least four solid notches.

Look, I’m not saying I would definitely let Jamie Oliver cook me some of his lamb curry, but maybe he can come round mine and whip up some saag aloo for me one night.

Words, Dan Guthrie – @danglefree