Jamie Oliver made millions as UK restaurant chain failed

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver claimed millions of pounds in dividends from his business empire last year as he battled to save his self-titled Italian restaurant chain from collapse.

The 44-year-old was still able to draw £4.4 million from his book publishing, broadcasting, endorsement and licencing interests despite his restaurant chains collapsing into administration.

But those overall interests took a 45 per cent hit, with £9.8m used to help prop up his Jamie's Italian chain.

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Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain goes into administration
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

The business, which includes Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen, in May confirmed the closure of all its sites excluding its two Jamie’s Italian restaurants at Gatwick Airport and Jamie’s Diner at the same transport hub.

The Jamie's Italian restaurants in both Edinburgh and Glasgow were shut.

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Around 1,000 staff were made redundant, with the collapse leaving creditors facing losses of about £83m, while Mr Oliver faced a shortfall of about £16m.

Both of Scotland's Jamie's Italian restaurants closed in the chain's collapse earlier this year

Paul Hunt, the chef's brother-in-law and chief executive of Jamie Oliver Holdings, told The Times the strength of the portfolio had "allowed the group to weather the challenges of 2018".