Glum Jools Oliver breaks cover following collapse of Jamie’s restaurant empire

Jools Oliver cut a glum figure today when she was spotted for the first time following the collapse of husband Jamie's restaurant empire.

Jamie today announced that administrators have been brought in, with up to 1,300 jobs at risk after the business ran up reported debts of £71.5million.

And Jools, 44, looked decidedly downcast as she arrived at their £6million 16th century Essex mansion dressed down in trainers and a denim jumpsuit.

Twenty three Jamie's Italian branches are affected, along with Fifteen and Barbecoa in London and Jamie's Diner at Gatwick Airport.

It's a sad end for a business Jamie, 43, desperately tried to save with £13million of his own money after it "ran out of cash" in September 2017.

Pressures of Brexit coupled with rental costs, government rates and minimum wage increases are all believed to have contributed.

Sales dived with Jamie's Italian making a pre-tax loss of £9.9million in 2017. Twelve restaurants were closed and around 600 staff made redundant.

But it wasn't enough, and a "deeply saddened" Jamie paid tribute to "all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade."

He continued: “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 UK 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.”

Former model Jools has been by Jamie's side throughout his entire career.

They met as 17 year olds in 1992, seven years before he was spotted working as a sous-chef in Fulham and given his own BBC show, The Naked Chef.

They married in 2000 and went on to have five children, Poppy, 17, Daisy Boo, 16, Petal, 10, Buddy, eight, and two-year-old River.

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