Jamie Oliver

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Jamie Oliver is a chef who has made a number of television programmes for Channel 4; in most of these programmes he is cooking and instructing the audience, although he is sometimes part of documentaries about food, for example in schools. His style of speech is very different to many of his contemporaries: he uses his distinctive style to present himself as a down to earth, friendly TV chef.

Oliver is the only person talking in this transcript because he is cooking and explaining his actions for the TV show. The fact that he is cooking while talking means that there are numerous pauses in the transcript, for example ‘you wanna coat the bottom (3) of the pan’. The three second pause indicates that he is demonstrating this action on the programme; it is important in his role as a TV chef that he doesn’t just sit and talk through a recipe because viewers want to see the recipes being made and they also want to be entertained and kept interested by Oliver moving around in the kitchen. Other pauses suggest that, although this programme is probably scripted to some degree, Oliver is not reading from an autocue but retains an element of spontaneity to his speech. The pauses at the start of the transcript, ‘I got a pan (.) er the right size pan about (.) sort of seven inches’, are indicators of this spontaneity, as is the non-fluent ‘er’. Although sometimes a sign of nervousness, in this case I think the pauses help Oliver to appear normal, like his viewers, so they are more likely to attempt his recipes and, of course, buy his books.

Jamie Oliver’s Esturary accent and his accompanying use of London slang are also distinctive features of his talk. Words such as ‘chivvy’ and ‘squiggle’ are colloquial and are not words we expect to hear on a cooking programme. We are used to words from the cooking semantic field such as ‘whisk’, ‘bake’, ‘stir’ but Oliver’s language use again makes him seem very normal, approachable and relaxed. As well as specifically accented words...
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