Jamie Oliver says men hit him because he cooked for their wives. Flickr

Jamie Oliver claims he was punched by men who "hated" him in the early years of his career because he inspired their partners to put pressure on them to cook.

The TV chef and restaurateur rose to fame with his series The Naked Chef in 1999, says: "I didn’t realise it was political at the time, but 20 years ago women, en masse, were going to work."

"Women and men, husbands, boyfriends were coming home from work, they’d sit down at six o’clock and go, “Ahh, f****** tired”, and men across Britain would look at their wives and go, “What’s for dinner?"

Jamie Oliver cooking at Scandic Hotels. Picture Wikimedia Commons

"And they weren’t having it. And rightfully so. So, for the girls around the country, old and young, when their husbands said “What’s for dinner?”, they said, “See that boy? He’s 23 years old. If he could cook for his missus and all his friends – look what he’s cooking, it’s simple, look, he’s getting his hand in there”, and they went “Go on”."

Oliver, 43, continues: ‘That’s why, if you look back in the papers and study it, men hated me for two years, and I got chased and punched a few times – I had loads of abuse. Men f****** hated me."

The TV star adds: "When men stopped thinking of me as the competition, as a threat, when they realised if I cooked for my wife, for my girlfriend, she loves me a little bit more, then in turn… men would stop wanting to punch me."

He says today he has won over the men in the household: "I would do a demonstration in front of two and a half thousand people and, over the years, now it’s 50/50."

Daily Mail