Jamie Oliver shares family’s dark days: “Jools and I have struggled at times”

Posted in Family.

Jamie Oliver’s business and personal life have been weathering some difficult circumstances over the last year or so and he’s spoken to the UK Woman’s Weekly about how his family are coping.

“A dark time”

The celeb chef’s Jamie’s Italian business is under pressure, millions of pounds in debt and forced to close 12 of the restaurant’s 37 UK branches. Jamie said it’s been a “dark time” for his gang, but he’s proud of what he achieved before things took this challenging turn, Hello reports.

“I’m very proud of having survived ten years. Restaurant years are like dog years,” he explained, “so ten years is a very long time. It’s been a dark time … there’s been not-so-nice darkness.”

Express reports that in “February, court documents showed Jamie’s Italian, which opened its first branch in Oxford in 2008, had debts of £71.5million (AUD 127 million). Of that, £41.3million (AUD 73 million) was owed to the taxman, landlords, suppliers and others. Staff were owed £2.2million (AUD 3.9 million), and the rest was made up of overdrafts and loans.”

It’s a downturn, to say the least. Lord knows how much being at the helm of a business that is now in a lot of trouble would weigh on you mentally, but it’s no doubt very, very heavily.

The recent death of fellow chef Anthony Bourdain has been another blow, with Jamie admitting: “It’s been rough. When it rains, it pours.”

Read more about Jamie and Jools:

“Kids are an amazing remedy”

At the core of life, is Jamie’s famously large and interestingly-named family. The dad of five says they’ve been his saving grace.

Jamie and wife Jools are parents to sixteen-year-old Daisy, fifteen-year-old Poppy, nine-year-old Petal, eight-year-old Buddy and two-year-old River. Jamie says the kids provide perspective during really difficult times.

“I go home and see my kids and that always cheers me up,” he told the Woman’s Weekly. “To go back home to a two-year-old asking for an apple is just utterly sweet. It works. It helps. When things get to me, kids are an amazing remedy.”

That said, it’s not been easy with children ranging from toddler to teen, and he and Jools have some relatable battles with their eldest.

“Jools and I have struggled at times,” he said. “You have to retune from having a child to a young woman. Whether we’re pulling back or tightening up … especially with social media. We’re the first generation of parents having to feel our way through that. If we have too many blips at home, I’ll take their phone away for a day.”

Jamie’s endeavouring to sort out his business woes while moving forward with his brilliant campaigns to ensure the worlds’ kids can access the healthiest food – and food messaging – possible.

He’s just launched Ad Enough, a campaign aimed at reducing kids exposure to unhealthy food by banning junk food advertising before 9pm.


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