Jamie Oliver has revealed his family’s very unusual Christmas rule: it’s the only time of the year his children are allowed to swear.
Speaking on The Russell Howard Hour, Jamie said there is a 60-second period on Christmas Day when he allows his kids to get away with expletives – but that’s it. Swearing is banned for the rest of the year.
“I love [swearing] but as a dad, I don’t like it. I say, ‘How do you know that?'” he said.
“My boy makes them rhyme as well.”
The odd rule was a topic of conversation on today’s Loose Women, with Kaye Adams saying: “I’m just really puzzled by it. I’m not judging, I just don’t get it.”
Nadia Sawalha agreed: “Isn’t it making it a treat? Here’s a treat for Christmas: swear! It just seems insane, but maybe we’re being too judgemental and maybe it’s an off the cuff comment.”
Guest panellist Becky Vardy added: “I’ve had to reign myself in quite a bit. It slips out sometimes but I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be. I wouldn’t want them dropping a bad word at school. I’m really strict about swearing at home. We had to do a swear jar and that’s stopped me swearing in front of the kids.”
Meanwhile, Jamie also acknowledged that sometimes Christmas can feel like work, and he’s finally reclaiming the holiday for himself.
After years of spending Christmas cooking for his whole extended family, Jamie has decided to keep the day for himself, and his family.
Instead of cooking for everyone, he’ll just be feeding his wife, Jools, and their five children, at their family home in Hampstead.
“For 15 years I’ve done the big Christmas and everyone’s come to us, there’s like 30 people,” the chef said.
“But two years ago I said, ‘This feels like work’ so last year and this year it’s just my mob, so the kids and my missus.
He went on to clarify he didn’t abandon the big family Christmas entirely.
“The next day we do it for a big mob but it’s cheeses, cold cuts, pickles, we buy interesting things and make a couple of bits – I knock out some nice bread and that’s about it.”
The celebrity chef also opened up about the cost of his ambition – saying his career can be lonely at times.
“When you’re truly happy, I don’t think that you’re pushing yourself,” he said. “But I’ve been pretty miserable. It isn’t nice.
“I don’t know if I’d prescribe my career to anyone else. I don’t say I have regrets, but it’s complex.
“It’s quite a lonely place. It still does get to me about once a year. I do wobble. I’m pretty tough, but I’m human.”