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Jamie Oliver talks about the 'dark time' his family are experiencing

The TV chef has five children with wife Jools Oliver

Hanna Fillingham

Jamie Oliver has a happy family life – a doting wife in childhood sweetheart Jools and five children between the ages of one and 15, but in the past few years, he has had to close down 12 of his 37 UK branches of Jamie's Italian, something he has admitted to being a "dark time". Talking to Woman's Weekly, he said: "Restaurant years are like dog years, so 10 years is a very long time. It’s been a dark time… there’s been not-so-nice darkness." Jamie's company announced at the beginning of the year of its decision to have less restaurants after developing millions of pounds in debt.

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It isn’t just the restaurants that has affected Jamie. The dad-of-five has also been going through personal tragedies, most recently with the death of friend and fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. "It's been rough. When it rains it pours," he admitted. Jamie, however, praised his children and wife for helping him through his hard times. "I go home and see my kids and that always cheers me up,” he said, calling children an "amazing remedy".

Jamie Oliver admits his family are going through a dark patch with the close of his restaurants

Giving an insight into his family life away from the spotlight, Jamie spoke about his relatively new experience in raising teenagers, admitting that at times he can find it challenging. "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."

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Jamie and wife Jools are the proud parents of five

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Jamie makes sure he spends as much time with his family as possible when he isn’t working, and recently told The Guardian that he makes sure that he has time off at the weekends and to attend his children's school plays and events. Most recently, he enjoyed a day out with Jools and their oldest daughter Poppy, where they attended a concert in Highgate, North London. Jamie shared footage of Jools showing off her dance moves to Lightning Seeds' famous World Cup song Football's Coming Home, as he sang out the lyrics behind the camera.

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