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Jamie Oliver: ‘I like to laugh, which is all that matters at my age’

The only way I can achieve a balance between home life and work is to stick to a strict schedule. I’ve got a group of people who manage my time very well and help me protect my kids’ school moments and weekends. I work hard but I have good-quality home time, too.

It’s not always easy to switch off but I unwind by cuddling my kids, spending time with Jools, sitting in the garden listening to birds, picking herbs, cooking, enjoying a glass of good whisky. Although I’m passionate about fantastically miserable British indie music, I’ve also been listening to Smooth FM at nighttimes because it just makes me laugh, which is all that matters at my age.

I think a lot of our attitude is down to history; the industrial revolution hit harder and earlier here, which set the scene for British parents working, needing convenience, juggling to fit everything in. The key is knowledge – that’s the currency that can help people, regardless of budget. Most of the best meals I’ve ever had have come from communities that are fairly humble.

I like eating healthily and I eat wonderful healthy food most of the time, but I also work in the food industry and that can be problematic. I like to exercise, I keep fit and run around with the kids. While I’ve never been sporty, I’m strong and bendy, and in pretty good health, touch wood! If I had one piece of advice for my younger self it would be, follow your heart and follow your instinct. Don’t get baffled by bullshit just because someone’s older and more experienced than you.


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