Bites: Time to hitch up the trousers, Jamie?

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The Independent Online

Jamie Oliver is to be a judge on a new US reality show, Oprah's Big Give. The Oprah Winfrey-backed series begins tonight, pitting contestants against each other in the art of giving. Call it Philanthropy Idol – if you must.

Oliver, who set up the Fifteen chain of restaurants to give disadvantaged youngsters the chance to gain professional training, finds himself cast as the straight-talking sceptical Brit. Imagine a likeable, public-spirited Simon Cowell minus the silly trousers.

Meanwhile, another British TV chef who's big in the States has been exposed as having a touch of the Walter Mittys. Robert Irvine (pictured), who presents Dinner: Impossible on The Food Network, claimed he had helped make a Royal wedding cake, cooked at The White House for various presidents, was a knight and owned a castle. His boasts were first questioned after his hyped new restaurants Ooze and Smooze, which he claimed would turn St Petersburg, Florida, into "the next Monaco", failed to open on time.