Since his assault on the nation's diet began in 2005, the self-important, self-appointed food tsar seems to have been linked with more sales downturns than the average Brit has cooked hot dinners. Oliver's cause célèbre has become an all-too-frequently quoted factor in certain food companies' performances turning less than pukka. And then it emerged pupils were turning their backs on the healthier meals forced on schools after the government's kneejerk reaction to the original Jamie's Schools Dinners. A BBC survey confirmed kids were less than keen on aubergine terrine and were instead popping down to the chippy.

Although he irritated Justin King when he castigated parents as "tossers" for not feeding their offspring properly, Sainsbury's has, however, done rather well out of him. And there's a strong case for saying the nation's new-found interest in healthier options, organic and natural, is in no small part due to him.

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