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

The chain which has branches up and down the country was set up back in 2008.

The Chelmsford branch of the restaurant closed in 2018 as part of a number of closures to help future proof the business.

Southend Standard:

  • Picture: PA

Mr Oliver 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."

He added: "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."

Closures had not been officially announced on Tuesday lunchtime but notices in the windows of branches across the country said some restaurants had already closed.

The Essex-born TV star and chef bought £6 million Spains Hall in Finchingfield earlier this year.

He uses a cafe on Southend Pier to film his popular Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s Friday Night Feast on Channel 4.

The show brought a host of celebrities to Southend for cooking classes.

The council has come to an agreement to run the cafe throughout the year when it is not being used for filming and it opened in time for Easter.