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Jamie Oliver has revealed he turned down the chance to appear as a Hobbit in one of Peter Jackson’s big screen blockbusters.

The celebrity chef said he had been offered the role in return for flying to New Zealand in 2001 to cook at Peter Jackson’s 50th birthday celebrations.

“I really wanted to do it,” Jamie Oliver revealed during filming for his new TV show.

“I would have got right into it as well.”

However, Jamie Oliver went on, he was unable to accept due to work commitments.Jamie Oliver turned down Hobbit role

Jamie Oliver spoke about the missed opportunity while filming his new Channel 4 series Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, alongside his friend Jimmy Doherty.

The first edition of the six-part series, filmed in a pop-up cafe on Southend pier in Essex, is due to be screened on January 2.

Jamie Oliver’s non-appearance has not stopped the Hobbit films racking up epic box office returns around the globe.

That success story has been maintained by The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the third and final installment in Peter Jackson’s fantasy saga.

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Bruce Smith, who was laid off by a US beef processing company, has sued celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, food blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term “pink slime” helped him lose his job.

Bruce Smith, 58, was one of about 750 people fired by Beef Products Inc, maker of lean finely textured beef.

He is seeking $70,000 in damages, saying the company and workers were “maligned” by the “unfair” phrase.

The firm closed three plants and fired workers at its South Dakota office.

A social media campaign against use of the beef led to heightened public concerns over its health and safety.

Federal regulators said the beef ingredient met food safety standards, but critics argued the food was unappetizing and possibly unsafe.

The US Department of Agriculture eventually chose to allow schools to stop serving the product.

Lean finely textured beef is made from beef heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

Bruce Smith has sued Jamie Oliver, blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term "pink slime" helped him lose his job

Bruce Smith has sued Jamie Oliver, blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term “pink slime” helped him lose his job

Bruce Smith, formerly senior counsel and director of Environmental, Health and Safety at Beef Products Inc, filed his lawsuit in Dakota County District Court, Nebraska.

The filing names Jamie Oliver, food blogger Bettina Siegel, ABC News, its journalists Diane Sawyer and Jim Avila and 10 other unnamed defendants.

The company “and its employees were unfairly and unnecessarily maligned and accused of producing a food product that did not exist, a product that critics unfairly labeled “pink slime”, Bruce Smith said in a statement.

He also claims that chef Jamie Oliver used his TV show and social media to target his former employer.

“Defendant Oliver proceeded to use his celebrity chef media notoriety to place pressure on American fast food company McDonald’s, and others, to immediately stop using (lean finely textured beef) LFTB ground beef in its retail menu food products,” the lawsuit alleges.

In a blog post, Bettina Siegel – who petitioned the US government to change its food policy – remained unrepentant.

“I’m confident the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, including bloggers like myself, against meritless attempts at censorship like this one.

“I will vigorously defend my right, and the rights of all of us, to speak out on matters of public importance.”

Beef Products Inc has also sued ABC News separately for defamation, asking for damages of $1.2 billion.

Neither ABC News nor Jamie Oliver made any comment on Bruce Smith’s lawsuit.