In September 2017, Oliver received a call telling him that Jamie's Italian was teetering on the edge and would go bust the next day unless he did something, the Financial Times reports.
At the time, he was filming his Channel 4 series Friday Night Feast, and he ordered filming to stop at he took in the stark news.
“We had simply run out of cash,” he said.
"We hadn’t expected it. That is just not normal, in any business. You have quarterly meetings. You do board meetings. People supposed to manage that stuff should manage that stuff," he said.
The chef, worth £150m, told his bankers to put £7.5m into the restaurants.
“I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to shit that day or the next day,” he told the FT.
“It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that.”
Over the next few months, he put a further £5.2m into the business.
“I honestly don’t know [what happened],” he admitted.
“We’re still trying to work it out, but I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm — rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage. There was a lot going on.”
Jamie Oliver had to close 12 of his restaurants, losing 80 staff.