Jamie Oliver to go global as School Dinners show sold around the world

LONDON - The fascination with school dinners is not confined to the UK as the hit Channel 4 show 'Jamie's School Dinners' is sold to 13 countries around the world, with US broadcasters set to bid at Cannes next week.

Freemantle International Distribution, the distributors behind the hit that has resulted in a government policy shift, said it had sold the show to Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

MTV3 in Finland has also signed deals for the show, which is produced by Fresh One Productions and has just finished its run on Channel Four.

FID said it was hopeful of success among US broadcasters, who are set to bid for the programme at the Cannes television tradeshow MIPTV.

In the US, Oliver has previously seen his show about the start-up of his Fifteen restaurant, 'Jamie's Kitchen', sold there as well as 'Oliver's Twist', which ran on the Food Network.

David Ellender, FID managing director, said: "We are not at all surprised by the success that 'Jamie's School Dinners' is enjoying. Jamie is practically a national hero here in the UK and the themes that this series deal with are universally important and engaging."

This is the latest export success for Oliver and FID. 'Oliver's Twist' and 'Jamie's Kitchen' sold to 43 and 34 countries respectively. 

In the UK, 'Jamie's School Dinners' proved to be both a ratings and political success. So far in 2005, it is Channel Four's highest rated new series with a peak of 5m viewers, and last week the government announced a £280m boost for school dinners.

During the programme, it emerged that children at a Greenwich secondary school were being fed on just 37p a meal.

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