Jamie Oliver’s food empire has come crashing down around him with as many as 1,300 jobs at risk.
The celebrity chef confirmed his struggling chain of restaurants had gone into administration with massive debts of £71.5million.
The chef who built a £200 million fortune following a series of successful TV cookery shows and supermarket advertising deals, admitted he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the closures.
Poor online reviews contributed to the worsening reputation of Jamie’s Italian, leaving him unable to save his struggling brand.
It now owes as experts claim Just Eat and saturation in food services combined to bring the 43-year-old’s eateries down.
Jamie previously blamed Brexit for his woes , but TripAdvisor reviewers branded his some of restaurants ‘shocking’ and ‘nothing special’.
He said: ‘I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade.
‘I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.
‘I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.
‘We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.’
The business said it had appointed KPMG to act as administrators.
More than 1,300 jobs are reported to be at risk from the collapse of the UK restaurant chain, which had 22 outlets, stretching from Brighton to Edinburgh.
Five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie’s Italian were sold off last year, while another was put into administration.