He may have had his Essex boy shtick stolen by the cast of TOWIE in recent years, but the punters still love Jamie Oliver’s no-nonsense approach to cookery, so it seems. The TV personality formerly known as the naked chef has managed to outsell his rivals – culinary and otherwise – again this year and top the Christmas book charts for the fourth time in his career.
So, if you’ve ever mentioned to a loved one that you “quite like Jamie” or shown even the slightest interest in the kitchen, there’s no prizes for guessing what that cookery book-shaped present is under the tree. Yep, it’s Jamie’s Great Britain, a book that has managed to sell 60,000 copies in the last seven days.
Jamie topped the festive bestseller list last year with Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals (most take longer than that – believe me, I’ve tried), which spent a whopping 32 weeks in the number one slot in 2010. Other Christmas favourites from Chez Oliver over the years include Jamie’s Italy and Happy Days with the Naked Chef, which both reached the pinnacle of festive bookselling in 2005 and 2001 respectively.
But the nation’s literary love affair with celebrity chefs doesn’t end with Mr Oliver. Both Lorraine Pascale’s Home Cooking Made Easy and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day made it into this year’s Christmas bestsellers list, according to data from Nielsen BookScan.
Other titles to make it into the festive top ten include kooky ad spin-off Where’s the Meerkat?, perennial family favourite The Guinness Book of Records, comedy offerings from James Corden, Lee Evans and Rob Brydon, and the biography of the Apple founder, the late Steve Jobs.