Jamie Oliver was born Margaret Ig in deepest revolutionary France some fortyfew years ago. His early years were spent living in a lake, where his parents has taken up residence to avoid the all-pervading strains of Charles Aznavour records.
At the age of five and barely out of nappies, his childhood was traumatised by the sudden arrest of his father on charges of making sexual overtures towards a pickled herring.
At the trial, his father, Ernest Ig, threw himself on the mercy of the court and asked for sixty-three other charges to be taken into account, including committing a lewd act with a hatstand, bathing in discarded film footage of Morris Dancing, and fathering Bonnie Langford whilst under the influence of low-fat yoghurt.
The jury of one man, one woman and ten hermaphrodites gleefully found him guilty, and he was shipped off to the “La Fondue” minimum security prison and retail ear-muff outlet. There, he was subjected to such diverse tortures as the authorities could muster; Chinese burns and towel-flicking were rife, and the enforced watching of Jim Davidson videos had the inmates cruelly subjugated.
However, the Ig family’s separation was happily short-lived when Ernest was rescued by son Margaret and far-from faithful wife Claudine in a daring lunchtime raid. Disguising themselves as freelance travel agents, they easily entered the facility and absconded with a struggling Ernest, who had been quite enjoying himself until then.
Following Claudine’s carefully laid cunning plan, they ran like buggery to Calais, evading the pursuit of a crack hamster attack squad. There, a boat was waiting for them. Unfortunately it was a police boat.
Fearless, they blasted their way through the line of Gendarmes using a particularly powerful aerosol can of that dreadful artificial whipped cream, and leapt into another standby boat which Claudine had knitted only that morning.
Using Margaret as a paddle, they reached England in good time, beaching just south of Fort William. (Ernest has acquired his stout seamanship from his father, Slim, a Chinese waiter who had never set foot outside his Kentucky ranch.)
Sleeping on the move, the Ig family made their way on foot to the wilds of Bishops Stortford and broke into an abandoned caravan once allegedly used by Cardinal Wolsey. Exhausted from their journey, they slept.
When they woke, Margaret was twelve. Ernest decided that, in order not to arouse suspicion, they should change their names, and thus they became the Oliver family. Richard (nee Ernest) set about providing for the family in their new life, and easily found work pulling the legs off spiders. However, soon afterwards the international market for spiders legs collapsed, and a distraught Richard was made redundant. Walking home after his last day at work, he was mobbed by wheelchair-bound tarantulas and chewed to death.
Distraught, Jamie joined a local technical college with a view to learning a trade, and within a year had built his first sparrow. This set his life’s course straight and true, and he vowed to be the best sparrowsmith in Hertfordshire, whatever it took.
Three weeks later, he fulfilled that dream. Overcome with emotion on hearing of her son’s achievement, Jane (nee Claudine) passed out in the kitchen while making eggs Benedict and hit her head on a protruding antelope.
After being tended in hospital for twelve long years, with Jamie at her bedside 24 hours a day, Jane finally recovered consciousness. Startled by unfamiliar surroundings, the first words to her loving son were “Are Band Aid still Number One?” Tragically, she never found out. Jamie was busy dashing to the toilet to relieve twelve years of bladder discomfort, and by the time he returned to Jane’s bedside, the hospital had been closed down.
After so long in the employment wilderness, Jamie found it painfully tough getting a job. That was until he was found unconscious in the gutter outside a Burger King restaurant. The franchisee, having suffered the decimation of his staff that previous evening during a vicious bout of chutney tasting, woke Jamie with a kick to the eyebrows and employed him there and then.
The rest, as they say, is history…