He started his TV career on the BBC, but celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has revealed that he would never go back to working at the "ridiculous" corporation. Speaking to the Mirror, Jamie, 42, said: "I was born in the Beeb and part of me would like to go back there. I looked at it but they are ridiculous to work for. The budget for the programme and the presenters' fees... I am happy to take a cut on everything. But the confusion and entanglement and what you can do. No way. Channel 4 is way better to work for."
Jamie was first noticed by the BBC when he worked as a sous chef at the River Café in London. He debuted his television show The Naked Chef in 1999, but moved to Channel 4 to front Jamie's Kitchen, Jamie's School Dinners and Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, among other programmes. His latest series of Jamie's Quick & Easy Food returns to the channel next week.
"They are ridiculous to work for," said Jamie
Admitting that he feels foolish that the idea for the programme has only just come to him, Jamie added: "Everyone is nuts about speed in cooking and I have addressed that. Then there is cost and I addressed that. With this show I can count the ingredients on one hand and you only have to buy a few things on the way home from work in busy Britain today. That is kind of relevant."
Jamie's comments about the BBC come after the corporation was embroiled in a gender pay gap debate. The figures showed notable disparities between what celebrity women and men are paid, and Director General Tony Hall conceded there was "more to do" on both gender and diversity. The list revealed that number one earner Chris Evans made between £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017, while Claudia Winkleman – the BBC's highest-paid female celebrity – took home between £450,000 and £500,000 in the same time period.