Local business owners, tourists and councillors have been celebrating yesterday’s announcement that a Jamie Oliver museum is set to open at the end of Southend Pier in 2017. According to the town’s head of tourism diversification and divergence, Julian Sycophe, the year-round facility will be a fitting tribute to ‘a popular celebrity who has done more for the people of Southend than any other person living or dead,’ and fans of the TV chef have already been flooding the Southend Council switchboard to try and make advanced bookings.
My Sycophe said: ‘We are delighted that Southend Pier will finally have a tourist attraction with the potential to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world, and the fun all starts with the official opening of the Jamie Oliver Museum that has been pencilled in for May 2017. The second bank holiday weekend in May has traditionally brought a few extra people into Southend, and this interactive shrine to a local legend will open at the perfect moment! The main feature in the museum will be a multimedia exhibition of his finest recipes and public crusades against bad school meals, and we can promise all visitors that entry fees will never exceed £20 per adult.’
He added: ‘The key to this museum’s planning approval was the element of legacy and sustainability, and this is why the building will include an environmentally-conscious ‘green’ annexe where visitors can take an immersive video tour about all of our fallen public toilets and shelters that have been ‘swankerized’ into upmarket eating establishments. We are also in the final stages of designing an on-site chapel dedicated to Jamie Oliver worship. Our last town census showed that 17% of all Southend borough residents considered their official religion as Pukkaism, and we are taking their beliefs into consideration under our cultural sensitivity policy.’
A statement from the museum’s promoter Toady and Co. added: ‘This facility will be open from January to December, with the occasional closure for filming whenever other major celebrities are in town, such as that farmer bloke or Lionel Blair.’