Jamie Oliver was left in tears as he went back to the first restaurant he ever opened following the collapse of several of his brands.
The chef, 44, went to his Fifteen site in east London, which he opened in 2002, as part of Channel 4 documentary Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All.
And he and presenter Davina McCall both became emotional as he talked her through what went wrong with his empire and the stress he had been under since.
Oliver’s chains Fifteen, Jamie’s Italian and Barbecoa went into administration in May, with more than 20 restaurants shutting and 1,000 jobs lost as a result.
Talking about the failures, he said he was ‘naive’ and ‘didn’t know’ how to run a business successfully.
Jamie Oliver was reduced to tears on Channel 4 documentary The Naked Chef Bares All after returning to one of his Fifteen restaurants in east London and seeing it empty
The 44-year-old, pictured at the restaurant on the documentary, said it was ‘tough’ to be back and that it was ‘like a bomb has gone off and everyone has left’
He told McCall: ‘To survive in this industry is tough. I was very naïve.
‘I was good at running one restaurant. I opened lots of big restaurants and people like small restaurants and we sort of had these big cathedrals we couldn’t fill.’
He added: ‘The staff got paid up to the date and I made sure of that. The hardest part was telling staff that they haven’t got a job anymore.’
Walking into the building, Oliver said: ‘It’s like the films where the bomb goes off and everyone has to leave, and everything is just left.’
Then, after going downstairs, he began to break down into tears, telling McCall: ‘My god. It’s tough.’
It comes after Oliver suggested Brexit was to blame for the collapse in an interview last weekend, claiming the ‘uncertainty’ caused has changed people’s eating habits.
He was blasted by fellow celebrity chef Marco Pierre White – with whom he has had a long-running war of words – over the ‘excuse’ and branded ‘delusional’.
White added he had previously had a ‘horrific’ experience at a Jamie Oliver restaurant at Gatwick Airport last year due to the wait for his food, suggesting the service may have also had an impact on his drop in trade.
The chef looked glum as he took Davina McCall on a tour of the site, revealing he had been ‘naive’ in running the business and the past few months had caused him ‘stress’
The show was presented by Davina McCall, pictured, who toured the site with Oliver
White said: ‘I have read Jamie is blaming his business failure on Brexit but I really don’t understand that at all.
‘Wouldn’t that mean then all restaurants have gone bust too?
‘I don’t think he can blame Brexit. It’s the lamest excuse in the world. I think it is wrong to blame Brexit. We’re all in the same boat. If it’s Brexit’s fault, we’d all be bust.
‘How can you blame everyone but yourself? Is he delusional?’
The pair have been embroiled in a war of words over the past decade, with Oliver calling him a ‘psychological bully’ in 2014.
But he said he did not ‘hate’ White and added he was once his childhood hero.
White also criticised Oliver in 2010 over his campaign to ban Turkey Twizzlers from schools five years earlier, claiming it was ‘unfair’ of his rival to label the product unhealthy.
It came after White signed an advertising deal for Bernard Matthews, which produced the Twizzlers.
Together the pair walked around the empty eatery and Oliver compared his restaurants to ‘big cathedrals that we couldn’t fill’
The Fifteen restaurant in east London, pictured, was the first Oliver ever opened in 2002
A year later he claimed Mr Oliver was ‘not a real chef’ because he ‘never won a Michelin star’ and was therefore ‘not accepted by the chef world’.
White has his own food franchise, Black and White Hospitality, following a stellar career in the kitchen where he was the first British chef to win three Michelin stars by the age of 32, also becoming the youngest in the world to achieve that accolade.
White’s group owns the rights to eight brands bearing his name and has locations in New York and Abu Dhabi.
Mr Oliver recently said the last few months had been the ‘most disappointing’ of his life.
He told the Times: ‘I did believe I could turn it round. I put in £3million, another £3million, then another £3million, however the numbers went.
‘But there was no good news.’