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Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bookshops, 14 December 2000

... Perhaps this prime position accounts for some of the mouth-watering success of Jamie Oliver. Penguin recently held a party to celebrate sales of The Naked Chef and The Return of the Naked Chef passing (between them) the two million mark. At the party, the cheeky chappy’s mother risked deflating the soufflé by saying: ‘When he was ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Dinner at the Digs, 20 March 2008

... on her website – but it might be even simpler than that. Delia wants to get down with the kids, Jamie Oliver style, and the best way to do that is to tell them their bad habits are kind of cool. The last chapter of her new book is called ‘Sweet Cheats: Ending on a High’, which might, inadvertently, appeal to the culinary instincts of those young ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Literary Prizes, 10 May 2001

... gesture against the elitism of literary prizes. Zadie Smith won in the New Talent category; Jamie Oliver was best for Home and Leisure and Simon Schama for General Knowledge; J.K. Rowling wrote the best children’s book and Maeve Binchy’s Scarlet Feather won the Fiction Award. These results, of course, could have been predicted with a fair ...

Stick in a Pie for Tomorrow

Jenny Turner: Thrift, 14 May 2009

Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations 
Michael O’Mara, 160 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84317 265 9Show More
The Thrifty Cookbook: 476 Ways to Eat Well with Leftovers 
by Kate Colquhoun.
Bloomsbury, 256 pp., £14.99, April 2009, 978 0 7475 9704 9
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The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less 
by India Knight.
Fig Tree, 272 pp., £14.99, November 2008, 978 1 905490 37 0
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Jamie’s Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours 
by Jamie Oliver.
Michael Joseph, 359 pp., £25, October 2008, 978 0 7181 4862 1
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Eating for Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations 
Michael O’Mara, 160 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84317 264 2Show More
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... her way, not mine. Now everybody’s favourite millionaire tellygarch has been at it too, in Jamie’s Ministry of Food. ‘During and after the First World War terrible food shortages meant many people were malnourished. So when the Second World War broke out the government knew they’d have to do something pretty clever to stop this happening ...

Jade Goody Goes to Heaven

Laurence Scott: OK! and the uncanny, 26 March 2009

... figures to be aware of their own shortcomings, and thus Jade became a soothing antithesis to Jamie Oliver’s confident over-achieving. Suspicious of tireless do-gooders, the country embraced its Goody. But happiness, as the melodrama goes, was short-lived. Jade’s decline began, we irrationally feel, during her argument with Bollywood ...

When Men Started Doing It

Steven Shapin: At the Grill Station, 17 August 2006

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany 
by Bill Buford.
Cape, 318 pp., £17.99, July 2006, 9780224071840
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... skills and the emotional life of a celebrity cook. Not just how to cook a mushroom risotto like Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson or Gordon Ramsay or Anthony Bourdain, but what it’s like to be Jamie or Nigella or Gordon or Tony: Happy Days with the Naked Chef, How to be a Domestic Goddess, In the Heat of the ...

Institutional Hypocrisy

David Runciman: Selling the NHS, 21 April 2005

Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare 
by Dennis Thompson.
Cambridge, 349 pp., £16.99, November 2004, 0 521 54722 9
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NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare 
by Allyson Pollock.
Verso, 271 pp., £15.99, September 2004, 1 84467 011 2
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Brown’s Britain 
by Robert Peston.
Short Books, 369 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 1 904095 67 4
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... also consistent with deep personal sincerity, and such sincerity will often be one of its causes. Oliver North, for instance, was not a hypocrite in any conventional sense, in that his behaviour was neither primarily self-serving nor inconsistent. It was North’s sincerity that enabled him to subvert the institutions for which he worked, and turn them ...

The Great Neurotic Art

Steven Shapin: Tucking into Atkins, 5 August 2004

Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution: The No-Hunger, Luxurious Weight Loss Plan that Really Works! 
by Robert C. Atkins.
Vermilion, 542 pp., £7.99, January 2003, 0 09 188948 0
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Atkins for Life: The Next Level, Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health 
by Robert C. Atkins.
Pan, 456 pp., £7.99, December 2003, 0 330 41846 7
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The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss 
by Arthur Agatston.
Headline, 278 pp., £10.99, May 2003, 0 7553 1129 9
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... over Penne (low-carb soy pasta) – and, spelt phyllo and soy pasta apart, you can almost see Jamie Oliver . . . No, I suppose not. In any case, Dr Atkins had now become a corporate institution. He was no longer a well man. He had a heart attack in 2002, which, his office stipulated, was the result of an infection he had suffered from ‘for a few ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... at 8.30 p.m., I was messing about at home when the phone buzzed on the sofa. It was a text from Jamie Byng, the publisher of Canongate. ‘Are you about?’ it said. ‘I have a somewhat left-field idea. It’s potentially very exciting. But I need to discuss urgently.’ Canongate had bought, for £600,000, a memoir by the WikiLeaks founder, Julian ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... for Boys and Girls’. With its royal-blue cloth and heraldic shield, its text broken down into Jamie Oliver-sized portions suitable for juvenile digestion, this book is remembered for its illustrations by A.S. Forrest, a succession of poignant tableaux like a village hall pageant. The Thames underwrites a narrative of royal escapes, murdered ...

What We’re about to Receive

Jeremy Harding: Food Insecurity, 13 May 2010

... the call for a new food consciousness; environmentalists, media personalities (led by the heroic Jamie Oliver), nutritionists and food analysts are optimistic that it’s on the rise. Yet vast numbers of us still require nudging and guidance, and, if the food observatory is right, we will have to learn to doubt the evidence of our eyes: where they ...

Cosmic Interference

Dinah Birch: Janet Davey’s Fiction, 8 October 2015

Another Mother’s Son 
by Janet Davey.
Chatto, 296 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 1 78474 022 1
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... like Sylvie and Jo, is scarred by a loss enacted outside the novel’s timeframe: the death of Jamie, his first partner, from meningitis. Richard’s restless unhappiness as he tries to find Abe again, without being able to admit to himself that he is seeking a different life, is sensitively evoked. Suffering drives him into the confused wandering that is ...

Speaking British

Thomas Jones, 30 March 2000

The Third Woman 
by William Cash.
Little, Brown, 318 pp., £14.99, February 2000, 0 316 85405 0
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Greene on Capri: A Memoir 
by Shirley Hazzard.
Virago, 149 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 1 86049 799 3
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... treasured this envy, longing to know how the other had changed but disdaining to ask. His friend, Jamie, tells the narrator that he has seen the woman who works in the chip-shop swimming naked in the sea. At night they go down to the beach to watch her. ‘We waited for hours, till Jamie’s face became pinched and ...

Maybe he made it up

Terry Eagleton: Faking It, 6 June 2002

The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature 
by Nick Groom.
Picador, 351 pp., £20, April 2002, 9780330374323
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... rambling around Bristol in search of Chatterton’s ghost (‘I paced about, in the footsteps of Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and many others . . .’), for all the world like a print version of Simon Schama. One can almost see the make-up and microphone. It is a smart rather than deep study, with more wit than soul. Groom’s rather ...


Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... gets in the way. And it’s somehow all too easy. Both the 17-year-old Elio and his older lover, Oliver, are flawless, but with no anguish to their affection. Nor is there any lack of understanding from the boy’s parents, his father particularly, with this being singled out as evidence of the film’s maturity. It’s quite chaste, very beautiful and it ...

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