Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain Jamie's Italian has appointed administrators, putting as many as 1,300 jobs at risk.

Jamie's Italian in George Street was the very first, opening in 2008 and its future is now in doubt.

A notice on the windows today informed diners 'this restaurant is now closed' and referred customers to administrators KPMG.

The Oxford Times:

Jamie Oliver said he was 'devastated' by the decision and added: "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.

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"I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected."

He said: "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.”

The celebrity chef's efforts to reboot the business last year, in a company voluntary arrangement have not been successful.

The Oxford Times:

In February last year the CVA was struck as the chain struggled to move forward with debts of £60m.

The chain owed the money to Bicester-based Fresh Direct and other creditors including Oxford City Council.

It was announced that 12 out of 37 restaurants would close but George Street was not one of them. 

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Now its future looks bleak.

The Oxford Times:

In 2017 Mr Oliver blamed a combination of rising Brexit cost pressures and tough trading when he shut six restaurants.

As well as staff costs and lower footfall, the group has been stung by the collapse in the pound, which has ramped up the cost of buying ingredients from Italy.

The father-of-five told the Oxford Mail how he took a £2m gamble to open the George Street branch in 2008.