Jamie Oliver, who rose to fame as TV’s ‘Naked Chef,’ is now in the kitchen with Aardman Animations as they jointly develop a new animated series titled Little J. Oliver will exec produce the show through his Fresh One Prods. Aimed at kids 7-11, the series will consist of 52 11-minute episodes and will be unveiled at Cartoon Forum this fall.
While Aardman is best known for such clay animation productions as the Oscar-winning feature Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Little J will be a 2D series inspired by Oliver’s passion for good food and no-nonsense cooking. It follows a fictional 10-year-old Oliver on a comically surreal quest to discover the secret to becoming a truly great chef. Little J’s world is populated with bizarre and funny characters including talking food, a depressed ham, a mad scientist named Eggs Benedict and culinary guru named Nonna, who helps our hero navigate the twisting path of childhood and culinary innovation.
‘I can’t tell you how passionate I am about kids and food,’ says Oliver. ‘I really want to pass on a little knowledge in a fun way, to really connect to the younger kids, so teaming up with the incredible Aardman Animations to produce Little J was an absolute must.’
Aardman’s Tom Parkinson is directing the series with Helen Brunsdon producing and Miles Bullough serving as exec producer for the studio. Fresh One’s Zoe Collins will also exec produce alongside Oliver. Created in 2001, Fresh One was set up to produce all of Oliver’s TV, DVD and multi-media output, including the award-winning cooking shows Jamie’s Kitchen and Jamie’s School Dinners.