Monday, April 12, 2010

Self promotion

I used to like Jamie Oliver. When he first came on the scene with "The Naked Chef", he was young and vibrant. He didn't try to make poncy dishes like other chefs I had seen on TV. He genuinely seem like a lad a young girl wanted to take home to her parents. He got people who normally didn't like cooking to have an interest in food.

He was also very influential politically. When he made the TV program "Jamie's School Dinners", it really highlighted what was wrong with British children's school meals, being full of fat and carbohydrates and very little choice of fruit and vegetables. It got the government into putting more money into school dinners, because for children the school lunch is the one meal you can influence to get them to eat healthy. This achievement earned Jamie Oliver a lot of praise.

After that it started to go slightly downhill from there. He started to make himself too commercial and too over-exposed. I seem to see a Jamie Oliver TV program nearly every day on the Discovery Travel and Living channel we have on the extra channels we have. He seems to produce a cookbook every year and now he starting to produce a magazine called - wait for it - "Jamie". Enough is enough already!

There is a point where people tend to over expose themselves and the general public start to wonder if they are doing this for good intentions or they love themselves too much. The same could be applied for Jamie Oliver. I wish he spent more time in the kitchen making good dishes instead of producing so many TV programs. I wish he actually spent more time with his kids rather than tell us what we should be feeding our children.

There are times when I see celebrities at charity gigs and wonder if they are feeding their own ego rather feeling genuinely proud to be supporting this charity. These are the stars who name charities after themselves and only turn up to gigs when required, instead of participating in the running of the charity itself. If you are a celebrity and are taking a fee to be at a charity event/gig, I think that is so wrong. I remember I once heard in the local news in Hong Kong that one televised charity event just about broke even after they subtracted the celebrity performers' fees.

Charity should be its own reward. That is why I never mention to anyone if I do any charity work or how much I have donated to charities. There is no need to. It is OK if you are trying to drum up support for you sponsored run/walk/ride to publicize the event but if you are saying, "I don't XXXX amount of dollars to XXXX charity" then it defeats the point.

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