Gino D’Acampo has such a friendly face that ITV chose him to host a revamped version of game show Family Fortunes.
Yet the smiley TV chef can barely show his face around suppliers of his failed chain of Italian restaurants.
Last month, My Pasta Bar went into liquidation, owing almost £5 million, including £113,000 to HMRC and £37,000 in wages and holiday pay to staff.
Now, a boss of one of the 49 businesses owed money has spoken out against D’Acampo, 46, claiming that, in his opinion, the chef is unfit to be on the board of a business.
Last month, My Pasta Bar went into liquidation, owing almost £5 million, including £113,000 to HMRC and £37,000 in wages and holiday pay to staff. Now, a boss of one of the 49 businesses owed money has spoken out against D’Acampo (pictured), 46, claiming that, in his opinion, the chef is unfit to be on the board of a business
‘It’s outrageous,’ says the creditor, who wishes to remain anonymous for now. ‘Gino trades on his fame, and a lot of the small firms might think he’ll pay them back because of that.
‘Well, I’ve got news for them — he won’t. ‘I wouldn’t lend money to him again, no. Thankfully, we are a reasonable sized company and, while we don’t like to lose money, we can afford it. But a lot of the people who have supplied his businesses are artisans. He’s supposed to be offering high-quality produce. If they don’t pay their debts, they’ll go bust.’
The businessman adds: ‘I would certainly question D’Acampo’s fitness to be a director of a limited company, that’s for sure.’
A separate business, Gino D’Acampo’s My Restaurants, had to be rescued last year with a £12.9 million bailout by co-investors including Iceland bosses Sir Malcolm Walker and Tarsem Dhaliwal.
D’Acampo, who declines to comment, urged people last year to stop blaming Covid for business failings.
However, last month he claimed the pandemic was the reason for My Pasta Bar’s closure, saying: ‘We tried it for ten years and then Covid came around and I thought, “You know what? We have to close.” ’
When the Daily Mail ran an investigation last month into the chaotic governance of Sistah Space, the charity founded by Ngozi Fulani, the woman who accused Prince William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey of racial ‘abuse’ at a Buckingham Palace reception, a spokesman insisted its affairs were now in order.
The charity said: ‘In our March 2021 trustee report, we were open and transparent about the staffing problems we have faced since the start of the pandemic, which led to some issues with the reporting of our accounts, but we have since engaged an independent accounting firm with the aim that won’t happen again.’
So I am surprised to learn that Sistah Space is late filing its latest accounts. ‘Charity reporting is overdue by seven days,’ confirms the Charity Commission.
No one at Sistah Space was available for comment. Probably preparing for their next palace reception . . .
Bloomin ’eck! Sgt Cawood swaps cops for the shops
Pictured: Sarah Lancashire spotted with her new hairstyle as she treats herself to spring flowers after the end of Happy Valley
Having confronted a bloodsoaked, murderous maniac in Happy Valley on Sunday, Sarah Lancashire needed something to help her relax.
What better way than a trip to the shops to buy some cheering spring bulbs and a French stick?
The actress, 58, who plays Sgt Catherine Cawood in the BBC’s hit crime drama, was spotted out near her home in Twickenham, South-West London, which she shares with husband Peter Salmon, who appears to have been in the wars in real life. The TV producer, 66, was walking with a crutch.
The couple, who married in 2001 and have a son, are said to be setting up a production company together, having filed paperwork for Via Pictures last month.
Royal Ascot will be particularly spectacular this year, because of King Charles’s Coronation seven weeks earlier, claims television chef Raymond Blanc, who will be serving seared Scottish langoustine bouillabaisse to well-heeled racegoers.
‘It’s going to be a Coronation Ascot and the girls are going to be more beautiful,’ the French-born chef tells me at the Royal Ascot Food & Drink preview at Carousel London. ‘Their hats will be even more colourful and flamboyant.’
Speaking of his menu choices, Blanc, 73, explains: ‘The King is going to want to eat something that is pure and grown organically.
‘He has changed even France.’
Millionaire Bannatyne turns 74, going on 24…
Pictured: Duncan Bannatyne throws lavish boat party in Miami to celebrate his 74th birthday
Duncan Bannatyne is enjoying growing old disgracefully.
The health club tycoon and former Dragons’ Den investor celebrated his 74th birthday with a wild party on board a yacht in Miami, where he could be seen raving with his hands in the air, right.
He was joined by his third wife, Nigora, who is 32 years his junior. She later presented him with a cake, far right, while they dined at the Italian restaurant Cipriani Downtown Miami. ‘I had great company, great food and alcohol,’ says the foundry worker’s son from Glasgow, who is said to have amassed a fortune of more than £400 million.
The divorce from his second wife, Joanne McCue, was reported to have cost him a staggering £345 million. He met Nigora while she was working as a Harley Street dental hygienist.
Ralph Fiennes’s new companion is a married woman. Friends of Amelia Richards, who was pictured with the Harry Potter star in Rome in my column on Saturday, tell me she’s been married for almost a decade to aristocratic snapper James Lindsay, 61, son of one of Queen Camilla’s best friends, Lady Amabel Lindsay.
‘James is absolutely devastated,’ says the pal. ‘He agreed with Amelia last week that they should separate, but he had no idea about her friendship with Fiennes.’
Amelia has two sons from a previous relationship.
‘James treated them as his own,’ the friend adds.
In which attic would you find a set of 18th-century candlesticks, three silver brandy warmers and a royal armorial baluster wine glass dating from 1760? The answer is Chequers, the PM’s country retreat. The exotic bric-a-brac is up for auction at Bonhams, after trustees concluded the attic was crammed with ‘items which are no longer used’.