Jamie Oliver has sparked outrage among the residents of a South Yorkshire town, who say that his new TV show portrays them as “thickos”.

The celebrity chef turned crusader caused a stir following the first episode of Jamie’s Ministry of Food, in which he teaches eight families in Rotherham how to cook.

Councillor John Gilding, leader of the town’s Conservative group, accused the programme of giving the impression that all the town’s residents only ate “doner kebabs”, reports BBC Online.

Jamie chose Rotherham after mothers were pictured shoving junk foods through school gates in protest at menus suggested in his previous series, Jamie’s School Dinners.

Channel 4 said the first episode of Ministry of Food deliberately focused on poorer people because poverty largely affected what people cooked and ate.

It featured an unemployed mother-of-two who fed her children on takeaways, and a woman who eats 10 packets of crisps for dinner.

But Mr Gilding said that part one of the four-part series gave the wrong impression about Rotherham.

He said: “It looks like he thinks we’re all as thick as planks and that we live on doner kebabs. People are enraged about it.

“I agree that he has a point with regards to school dinners and it is good he is trying to educate people, but Rotherham people are not ‘numpties’.”

Channel 4 said future episodes would focus on getting men to cook and encouraging businesses to help staff lead healthier lifestyles.