THE SUDDEN closure of John Burton Race`s restaurant in Devon is surrounded in controversy after the chef claimed his estranged wife made the decision to close it while he was on ITV show I`m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.
His wife Kim, with whom Burton Race has been locked in divorce battles for a year, told the 20 staff of the New Angel restaurant that they had lost their jobs on Monday.
A notice, along with Burton Race`s mobile number, was put on the restaurant door, saying: "It is with deep regret that as of Tuesday 27th November 2007 the New Angel restaurant and rooms will cease trading.
"Please direct all inquiries to John Burton Race."
ITV says that Burton Race found out the news when he received a call from his hotel room after becoming the fourth person to be booted off this year`s show.
He said: "I didn`t know the restaurant was closed or that there was a note in the window. The decision to close the restaurant was not made by me. I have got nothing more to say."
Mrs Burton Race has previously stated that the Michelin star restaurant may be sold to raise funds for the divorce settlement.