Jamie Oliver has blamed his passionate nature for ‘getting him in a pickle’ over Sainsbury’s stance towards his TV show on battery-farmed chickens.

The 32-year-old chef said his ‘passion for the subject’ led to the reporting of comments seemingly criticising the supermarket giant – with whom he has a £1.2 million-a-year advertising deal – for not participating in a debate.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Jamie also revealed that he suffered sleepness nights over the making of the programme, such was his concern over balance and fairness.

Earlier this week, the chef appeared to backtrack from an outburst in which he appeared to attack Sainsbury’s, alongside the other main supermarkets, for not attending a debate on the issue.

He had been quoted in the Daily Mirror saying: “I am really upset. The question is why didn’t they come. What is there to hide?”

But it was later claimed that the comments did not fully represent the chef’s views.

In Friday’s interview with the BBC, Jamie said that clarity had got lost in the hype surrounding the show.

He said: “The passion for the subject got me in a pickle where it was able to go in papers and look like I was criticising Sainsbury’s.

“Sainsbury’s did do more than their bit and yes I was perturbed that they were not there at the live event purely and only because I knew it would look bad when they had no reason to look bad.”