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The 34-year-old TV chef has made the surprising claim ahead of his new TV series which sees him go on a road trip to the US.
Despite his decidedly northern European appearance, the popular chef even claims that in some pictures of him there are signs of his African heritage.
Oliver, who was born in Essex, is currently promoting a new Channel 4 show, has discovered he is sixth-generation Sudanese whilst talking about racial prejudice in America's Deep South.
Speaking in the Radio Times he claimed his African roots only came to light when his grand-father's brother died.
The popular chef is now claiming he would like to go on hit BBC1 genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? to find out more about his ancestors.
He told the magazine: 'It turns out I'm sixth generation Sudanese. We only found out about it when my grandfather's brother died but, as it happens, there are quite a few Olivers who are a bit swarthy and have got curly hair, so I suppose that may explain it.
'Have a look at the picture of me on the cover of The Naked Chef, and you can see what I am talking about.
'To be honest, I don't have many details about the Sudan side of things, but I'd really like to go on Who Do You Think You Are? to find out.'
It is understood that the link is on his father Trevor's side of the family, but details remain scant about how that part of the family ended up in the UK.
Mr Oliver's publicist said the star was keen to make time to investigate the genealogy of his family after the revelations, but had not done so yet.
In the series Jamie's American Road Trip he looks at food in the US as well as offering his own insights into issues like immigration poverty and intolerance.
He said: 'What I saw in New York forced me into a better understanding of what it's really like to be an immigrant.
'I don't think I fully appreciated that what makes people travel to some distant and often unwelcoming city, is this relentless struggle to make a better life for your family.'
He also admitted coming across racial prejudice in the Deep South of America during filming.
Oliver told the Radio Times: 'For the first time in my life, I heard the N-word used seriously, and it came as a shock to the system.
'We were talking about Obama's election, and the comment that came back was, "In England, they've got a Queen, over here we got a ...".'
The TV chef has three daughters with wife and former model Juliette 'Jools' Norton after they met in 1993.
Their first child Poppy Honey was born in 2002, followed by Daisy Boo in April 2003 and Petal Blossom Rainbow in 2009.
Sudan is a country in north-east Africa, which is bordered by countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Libya.
It is the largest country in Africa, but in recent years has been most well-known for the bloody civil war in the Darfur region.
*The interview appears in the latest edition of Radio Times.
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