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'I basically squirrelled nothing away': Jamie Oliver's lost millions

They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But celebrity chef Jamie Oliver clearly didn’t obey this adage, and now he’s paid the price.

Once estimated to be worth A$246 million (£150m) – the Naked Chef’s global empire has been sliced much thinner and has “lost loads”, he admitted to the UK’s Daily Telegraph.

Oliver’s losses are thought to be around $147.8 million (£90m) since 2014, although would not reveal an exact figure.

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He blamed his multi-million dollar losses on a lethal concoction of not saving against the backdrop of the global recession and getting into business with friends “I shouldn’t have.”

“I basically squirrelled nothing away, I built no safety and I had a slightly weird view of the recession,” the 42 year-old admitted, during the decade between his 30’s and 40’s.

He now has “lists of friends that I shouldn’t have collaborated with – never mix business and pleasure”.

The Briton also admits other mistakes along the way as a wide-eyed, twenty-something chef starting out.

“I didn’t know enough about the realities of business and all the grown up stuff that revolves around a man.”

However, mistakes aside, Oliver’s global successes are impossible to deny – his name is synonymous with cooking, TV shows, cookbooks plus a chain of eponymous Italian restaurants under his belt – including six in Australia.

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“If you’re 30 and you’ve got a talent you’ve got to smash it and that’s what we did – we created 8500 jobs and we tried anything that would get anybody cooking. We put good heart and soul in it,” he said.

And who can argue with that?