THE debut cookbook by food poverty campaigner and Echo columnist Jack Monroe was the seventh highest selling book of the week in the UK – before it was even released.

A Girl Called Jack: 100 Budget-Busting Delicious Recipes, was in the top ten of online retailer Amazon yesterday based on preordered copies. The book, which is out today, is also number one in its food category of bestsellers, ahead of Mary Berry.

Appearing on Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, Ms Monroe cooked presenters and other guests “the perfect falafel”.

She explained that when she was on the breadline she realised it was a food she could make far cheaper than it was sold for.

When asked about being criticised by former MP Edwina Currie and Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn over having been on benefits, she said: “I’ve had it for about a year now and you gradually get quite thickskinned.”

Earlier, on social networking website Twitter she highlighted the lighter side of attention from fans saying: “Hahaha, someone’s put on my Wiki page that I’m best friends with Debbie McGee. Hilarious, if totally random. And clearly untrue!”