We can't imagine "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" without Jamie, but, if things had gone Oliver's way back in 2008, the show would have been hosted by "American Idol" star Ryan Seacrest.
In the first segment of an exclusive three-part Slashfood interview with Jamie Oliver (parts 2 and 3 run tomorrow and Wednesday), the English chef reveals that he didn't want to host the American version of the show he had launched in England, and asked Seacrest to take on the job. "I had heard he was into food politics," Oliver said.
Although Oliver had experienced success on American TV with his "Naked Chef" series, on Food Network, he had been trying to pitch a prime-time show here for six years, based on the television docs he'd made in England about trying to improve school lunches and the local diet in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. But he was doubtful that he was well-known enough in the States to pull off it off here. So he emailed Seacrest, who he didn't know at the time.
Seacrest expressed interest, but after Oliver sent him a full proposal, the American Idol host said 'It's not for me, but I'll help you do it,'" Oliver recalled.
In the end, of course, Ryan Seacrest Productions produced the show and Oliver starred. "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which chronicled his efforts to improve school lunches and overall eating habits in a West Virginia town, ran on ABC in the spring of 2010. It won an Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program.
The show isn't about becoming the next "Golden Boy" in the U.S, Oliver says. "I've got enough jobs and enough friends and I'm certainly not doing it for the money." The trut is, he says, he wants to change the way the world eats.