The naked chef's green credentials are laid bare

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The Independent Online

For four years, Jamie Oliver has very vocally opposed the planned extra runway at Stansted airport, close to his Essex home.

"I object to the destruction of vast swathes of countryside and the huge increase in noise and pollution to be suffered if the expansion goes ahead," he said.

The "monstrous plans" go against everything he believes in: "the health and future of our children, planet and heritage".

How big is the chef's own carbon footprint, then?

Jamie obviously has to move about the world a lot for culinary jollity and the associated filming, but must he fly in such style? When the chef travels to the United States he uses Eos Airlines – a "premium business class airline" – which strips all 220 seats out of its Boeing 757s and replaces them with just 48 singing, dancing "cabins" (reclining chair bed, desk, guest seat, etc). Having flowers in your transatlantic lavatory does not come cheap: a flight to New York's JFK airport, leaving tomorrow evening and returning on Thursday, costs £3,000.

Eos is "Uncrowded. Uncompromising." And even more unfriendly to the environment, which will cheer Jamie's fellow Stansted protestors no end. For those who worry about these things, each Eos passenger is responsible for emitting 4.5 times more carbon per journey than a regular 757 passenger.

And from which British airport does Eos take off? None other than Oliver's very own Stansted. Take a deep breath of that country air, kiddies!

* The high-kicking BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis is tough and brainy – she speaks five languages including Mandarin, after all, and will punch a minister on the ropes.

Her credentials as an austere interrogator are, critics say, undermined when she allows her "inner Jordan" out: the parties; the wardrobe malfunctions when some charm "escapes its satin mooring", to quote one perspiring observer.

Such exhibitions rarely fail to delight Newsnight colleagues, who have nicknamed Maitlis "Balok" for her apparent resemblance to a Star Trek alien.

Emily is clearly busy with non-broadcasting things. Sober Newsnight studio proceedings are, I hear, occasionally interrupted by the cry: "It's Emily Maitlis's agent on the phone. She wants to know if we need her this week?"

Cue laughter, and underlings telling the editor: "It's my agent on the line, he's asking if I'm on the rota tomorrow ..."

* Bruce Parry's latest televised adventure, trudging through the Siberian tundra with Nenet reindeer herders, got animal-lovers twitching. The for-once not-naked former Marine tried to buy reindeer antlers to turn into a hat stand.

Antlers are hardly gorilla-feet ashtrays or a tiger-skin rug, but Brucey's behaviour was nevertheless questionable in these post-burning-ivory-pyres years.

"It would be a cold day in hell before we recommended animal parts as souvenirs," says People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The only "ethical" source, the group claims, would be roadkill or antlers removed for medical reasons. As I believe Brucey's were.

Others might see Parry's hat stand as his revenge for when the horny devils charged and spiked him while he was trying to pee into the -30C air. Reindeer like the salt.

* In the distended cookery book market, one section of society has thus far been overlooked by Gordon, Delia, Nigella and co.

Now, the former jailbird-turned-author Paul Newman, who has done time in several of Her Majesty's clinks for a whopping drugs smuggling conviction, is setting things straight by releasing the catchy Ready, Steady, Crook, a collection of recipes from his friends behind bars.

"In the high-security prisons there were facilities for prisoners to do their own cooking," he explains. "Some of them were brilliant cooks."

Newman has kindly sent Pandora a culinary offering titled Spaghetti Scalese, the creation, apparently, of a one-time Chicago Mafia buddy. Suffice to say it looks delicious, although it would take a braver person than I to suggest otherwise.

* Quentin Tarantino has a little explaining to do. His recent blockflop Grindhouse – two back-to-back films that hark back to the good 'ol days of slashers, topless women, car chases and zombies with melting faces munching human corpses – came £11m short of producer Harvey Weinstein's bleakest box office prediction.

"We all felt that we were going to have a huge hit," he says in this week's Empire mag. "I thought this was going to be a new landmark for me ... And it did end up being one, but not the way that I thought it would.

"It's pretty obvious what happened," he explains. "People simply didn't want two movies. People wanted one movie. When it comes to the weekend, people want just two things: dinner and a movie, and you can't fuck with that." Tarantino has called Weinstein to apologise.

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