Jamie Oliver launches attack on British booze culture
Jamie Oliver, the man who's nicknamed the Naked Chef along with the successful show and a bunch of others, has made some comments on what he thinks of British alcohol culture and the lack of tradition in households.
Oliver, 33, said Britons used to create "fabulous dishes" but added: "We have lost our traditions."
In the interview, the celebrity chef turned his attentions to the state of British cuisine and eating habits.
Commenting on the fact that 80% of British people did not sit around a table for dinner, the chef said: "It's true in London and in the big cities of the north. It is connected to the new poverty."
Oliver went on: "England is one of the richest countries in the world. The people I'm talking about have enormous televisions - a lot bigger than my own - the latest in mobile phones, cars and they go and get drunk in pubs at the weekend.
"Their poverty shows in the way they feed themselves."
The 33-year-old describes his fellow countrymen's materialistic attraction to widescreen TVs, cars, mobile phones, and - above all else - beer as being symptomatic of "the new poverty" blighting the UK.
Oliver's latest attack follows a joke he made about the Holocaust last week, when dozens of Germans complained that he was insulting them.
This time the cook, who made his name as The Naked Chef in the late 90s, has turned his fire on everything from the paucity of British cooking to binge drinking.
In an interview in the latest edition of Paris Match magazine published in French, Oliver contrasts the country with France, where old fashioned cutoms are still observed.
Oliver even claims that he had found a better range of food in African slums than in his home country, where people were more interested in getting "drunk in pubs" than eating well.
"It's nothing to do with famine or war - quite the opposite. England is one of the richest countries in the world.
"The people I'm telling you about have huge TV sets - a lot bigger than mine! - they have state-of-the-art mobile phones, cars, and they go and get drunk in pubs at the weekend - their poverty shows in the way they feed themselves.
"I found the cooking of the inhabitants of the slum in Soweto in South Africa a lot more diverse than ours. It's true! I'm going to be harsh, but I think a lot of English people's food lacks heart. It's bland." When it was suggested that the English can't savour food because they drink too much, Oliver says: "It's true. Historically we've never produced wine. We have a culture of alcohol and we're more beer orientated: the only people who drink more than us are the Irish and the Scottish."