“I've had the worst of it”: emotional Jamie Oliver talks restaurant collapse

The celebrity chef will discuss his business troubles on The Graham Norton Show

Updated on 29 November 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

“I've had the worst of it”: emotional Jamie Oliver talks restaurant collapse

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will have an emotional discussion about the collapse of his UK restaurant empire in an upcoming interview on The Graham Norton Show.

The episode, which is set to air tonight on BBC One, features the chef having a frank discussion with show host Graham Norton about the financial difficulties his business has faced in recent years.

In May of this year, Oliver’s brands Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen all went into administration, resulting in the closure of over 20 restaurants and the loss of 1,000 jobs. Speaking about the incident, Oliver said: “It was 13 years of hard work and Fifteen was my baby, but I ran out of money, ran out of everything and it was really tough, but you have to crack on and try to get yourself together.”

He continued: “I've had the best of it – I don't know anyone who had it better than me – and I've had the worst of it – that's life. You have to focus it to a positive.”

Despite the difficulties Oliver has faced, there are aspects of his business that are still thriving. His restaurant group currently operates 65 international sites across 25 countries, while the Jamie’s Italian brand still exists in the UK via a franchise at Gatwick Airport. Just last week, it was announced that Oliver plans to open a new concept in South East Asia.

When asked if he would think about opening more UK restaurants in the future, the so called Naked Chef said he would need to see what the impact of Brexit is first. “Absolutely I'll think about it, but not until after Brexit and after the high street has sorted itself out. If you run a business in this country, there has been no good news for anybody for five years. It's been tough and there is a lot of mess to sort out.”

The Graham Norton Show airs tonight at 10.35pm on BBC One.

Interested in more chef news? Find out why chef Alyn Williams has been dismissed from The Westbury Hotel.