Jamie Oliver opens up about his family life: “We don’t need any more kids!”

The chef spills on his home life, marriage to Jools and his incredible success...
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Jamie Oliver heads a global food empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He gets to make whatever TV show he wants to make. He influences government policy. But there’s one thing he doesn’t have a say over: whether he and wife Jools have another baby.

Jools, 43, said earlier this year that she’d like one more to join Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, nine, Buddy, eight, and River, two. Jamie isn’t so sure.

“I don’t have much control in that department,” the 43-year-old admits to TV WEEK, on the phone from the UK. “I’ve tried to put the brakes on a few times and it didn’t work. Women are very powerful, and I’m not very good at restraint or control.

“I can give you a stronger answer, like, ‘Look, five is enough. I’m struggling already to get them in the car. I can’t even have a car anymore. I drive a f***ing bus. We don’t need any more kids.’ But you would be under the idea that I have control of this situation. So, we’ll see.”

The couple have their hands full with their five children (from left) Daisy, Petal, River, Buddy and Poppy.

If anyone has earnt the right to boss Jamie around, it’s Jools.

Teenage sweethearts, the couple married in 2000, just as Jamie’s TV career was taking off. Since then, Jools has provided unwavering support for Jamie as he’s thrown himself into a string of ambitious projects, from training disadvantaged youths to improving school dinners.

Last year, Jamie announced in a magazine article that he and Jools would renew their vows on their 20th anniversary in 2020. Now, he reveals that he hadn’t talked to Jools before he made the announcement to the magazine.

“She said, ‘Is this true? Is this what we’re doing?’ I said, ‘Yeah, might as well, let’s do it,'” Jamie says.

“We’re 19 years in, which is extraordinary. I think 20 is a good moment. And if I can get to 40, I’ll do it again, and if I can get to 60, I’ll do it again. I just think it’s quite a nice thing to do. We don’t really do many big parties, so it’s just an excuse to get amongst it.”

There’s another 20th anniversary that came up before then, though: the 20th anniversary of the debut of Jamie’s first TV show, The Naked Chef.

So how does he feel now, looking back at that young chef?

“I think I had really big lips before my face grew into them,” he says with a laugh.

“I think my fashion sense was highly questionable. My haircuts have been extraordinarily challenged.”

But Jamie remains immensely proud of what The Naked Chef achieved.

“Twenty years ago in Britain, cooking was for girls,” he explains. “It was kind of a moment, The Naked Chef. It was about telling the boys that they’ve got to do their bit. But also, that cooking wasn’t for girls, that cooking could get you girls.”

Jamie believes Australia was “quite pivotal” for him.

“It was the first country to buy the book and the program and to really embrace it,” he recalls.

“That was the first moment where a 24-year-old baby Jamie started to realise that this wasn’t just a British conversation. It was a global conversation.”

READ NEXT: Buddy Oliver makes his presenting debut on dad Jamie’s YouTube channel

What started out as a TV show quickly grew into an empire, including an international chain of restaurants. But Jamie has always been honest about his failures. At one point, he had to sink $A23 million of his own money into his restaurant chain to save it.

Jamie thinks he’s now struck a good balance between being “brave enough to have a go and stupid enough to make a few mistakes”.

“But I’ve never made a mistake where I haven’t learnt incredibly important lessons,” he adds. “In every success and every failure I’ve had, it’s always been trying to experiment with ways of sharing food and recipes and skills and short cuts and getting more people cooking. So, I feel good about it. I’m still learning now.”

As well as financial dramas, Jamie has also been embroiled in his fair share of controversies. They have involved everything from slaughtering a lamb on TV, his “feud” with Gordon Ramsay and his views on breastfeeding.

His family life has also been dissected in the tabloids.

“You have to just put up with the fact that there’s quite a lot of stuff that gets put out that isn’t true,” he says. “I think you just have to be philosophical, take a bigger view.”

However, he does concede there have been stories that have bothered him.

“Oh, Christ − loads!” he says. “But I’m like Dory [in *Finding Nemo].* I have a three-second memory. It’s not healthy to ponder on bollocks that’s happened. I just keep on swimming.”

So what’s ahead for Jamie?

“What I do now is no different to what I did 20 years ago, and what I intend to do in the next 10 years,” he says. “Although it will be much more interwoven into government legislation and public health.”

Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All airs Wednesday, 21st of November, 7:30pm on 10.

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