Amir steps into the ring with Jamie and Jimmy

Jamie Oliver, Amir Khan and Jimmy Doherty cook together on Friday Night FeastJamie Oliver, Amir Khan and Jimmy Doherty cook together on Friday Night Feast
Jamie Oliver, Amir Khan and Jimmy Doherty cook together on Friday Night Feast
Friday: Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast; (Channel 4, 8pm)

Can you believe it’s been nearly seven years since Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty presented their first Friday Night Feast from their bistro at the end of Southend Pier?

Of course, the old-school muckers go back a lot further than that.

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The superchef and the pig farmer have been having a fine bromance since their school days in an Essex village.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the pair were asked when they met: “When we were three,” said Jimmy. “No, when we were one,” Jamie added.

One of Jimmy’s first jobs was doing the washing up at a local pub owned by Jamie’s parents, and the pair said as teenagers they were ‘like identical twins’.

Jimmy was the more academic of the two. “School wasn’t the place to have us both together,” Jamie says.

“We had too much fun and I held him back.”

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That certainly isn’t the case these days, and the likeable duo bounce off each other brilliantly in this long-running show in which they are joined by famous guests for food and banter.

However, even Jamie and Jimmy’s rock-solid on-screen partnership has been tested by the events of 2020.

Back in October, the next series of the Channel 4 show was postponed due to social distancing concerns on set amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Jamie tweeted: “Missing our time at Southend Pier this year.”

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Hopefully, the duo will be back with more brand-new episodes very soon, but in the meantime, they are kick-starting the weekend with a never-before-seen episode, filmed in 2019.

It’s fight night on the longest Pleasure Pier in the World, as Amir Khan steps into the ring with Jamie and Jimmy. The Bolton-born boxer is a former unified light-welterweight world champion, having held the WBA (later Super) title from 2009 to 2012, and the IBF title in 2011. As an amateur, he won a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Olympics, becoming at the age of 17, Britain’s youngest-ever boxing Olympic medalist.

Outside of boxing, he is a philanthropist, promoter and sponsor, and has also participated in several reality TV and game shows.

In 2017, Khan appeared on the 17th series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and was rumoured to be the highest-paid contestant in the history of the show. The boxing great, who is still only 34, should have plenty to talk about as he swaps his gloves for an apron.

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Jamie and Jimmy have a special treat for Amir as they attempt to recreate his boxing hero Muhammad Ali’s favourite dish. Having tracked down Ali’s personal chef, they take time out to make the delicious rack of lamb, scalloped potatoes and collard greens that the boxing legend enjoyed every week.

Later, Jamie pushes the boat out with his Malaysian-inspired sea bass cooked in a beautiful fresh banana leaf and served with jasmine rice, rainbow salad and a chilli pickle.

Meanwhile, Jimmy serves up some quick quesadillas that will impress your mates even at short notice.

And finally, the boys ditch their day jobs (thankfully, only temporarily) and sign up for a shift at a cheese farm in Somerset, where they use the waste product from the cheddar-making process to create a delicious creamy ricotta.

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