Jamie Oliver has landed the coveted Christmas Number One spot after his latest cookbook, Jamie's 30-Minute Meals (Michael Joseph), sold 149,640 copies in just seven days.
It is the third time that the TV chef has scored a Christmas number one—Happy Days with the Naked Chef topped the charts in 2001 and Jamie's Italy in 2005. On average, £215 was spent on 15 copies of Jamie's 30-Minute Meals every minute last week, according to Nielsen BookScan data.
It brings life sales of the cookbook to 1,024,186 copies—a new BookScan record for a hardback non-fiction book, despite the fact it has been on sale for less than three months.
Waterstone's spokesman Jon Howells commented: "Jamie is always big at Christmas, but this book has been something else—we sold more of it by the end of November than we did of last year's Jamie's America (Penguin) by the New Year. . .
"No matter what the weather, tens of thousands of copies of Jamie's new book will be sold this week. The internet can't deliver now, but Waterstone's high street shops have plenty of copies."
However, it is worth noting that Bookscan figures date back only as far as 1998: sales of cookery queen Delia Smith's 1995 hardback Winter Collection, for example, are estimated to stand at around two million copies according to publishers, Ebury.
After Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, the next most popular purchase at UK booksellers last week was surprise Christmas hit, A Simples Life (Ebury)—the fictional memoir by TV advertising meerkat Aleksandr Orlov. The £9.99 hardback sold 70,990 copies, taking £410,000 through the tills last week. The latest edition of Guinness World Records (Guinness), which sold 57,505 copies last week, takes third position in this week's Official UK Top 50.
In non-fiction celeb-memoir terms, Lord Sugar's What You See is What You Get (Macmillan) was the bestselling celeb-mem of the week with hardback sales of 53,689 copies in seven days. Meanwhile, sales of England rugby legend Brian Moore's Beware of the Dog were up 381% week-on-week thanks to publisher Simon & Schuster's mass-market edition hitting shelves in the wake of its recent William Hill Sports Book of the Year win.
The bestselling hardback novel of the week was comedian Dawn French's début, A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Michael Joseph). Sales of the book jumped 49% week-on-week helped by the author's interview on BBC One's "The Graham Norton Show" on Friday. The bestselling mass-market novel of the week was Galaxy Book of the Year winner David Nicholls' One Day (Hodder)—sales of which were up 80% week-on-week to 48,373 copies sold.
In the children's sector, the Beano Annual (D C Thomson) proved to be the bestselling book of the week, selling 25,639 copies—some 9,790 copies more than the next most popular purchase, Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (Puffin).