21 AUGUST 2007

He's known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm when it comes to cooking, now Jamie Oliver is about to get really animated after being transformed into a cartoon character for a new kids' TV series.

The show - a collaboration between the Naked Chef's Fresh One production company and Aardman Animations, the people behind Oscar-winning creations Wallace and Gromit - tells the tale of a fictional ten-year-old Jamie and his quest to become a chef. Joining him on his journey are a troupe of strange characters, including a mad scientist called Eggs Benedict who has a chicken on his head

"I want to pass on a little knowledge in a fun way," says the 32-year-old chef. " I can't tell you how passionate I am about kids and food."

Jamie's partners in the venture, titled Little J, are equally as enthusiastic. "We were thrilled when Jamie approached us to collaborate," says Aardman's Miles Bullough. "We quickly agreed it needed to be first and foremost a comedy, which would inspire kids to think positively about good food – even brussel sprouts."

It's thought that the 52-part series - which is aiming for the seven to 11-year-old age bracket - will be ready when Jamie's contract runs out with Channel 4.

Photo: ©
Essex-born Jamie goes from TV chef to cartoon caracter for new children's series Little J. Each 11-minute episode follows ten-year-old Jamie on his quest to become a cooking whiz Photo: © Aardman Animation