CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver says he misses Southend Pier, as filming for his hit show Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast has come to a halt due to Covid-19.

And it’s clear Southend misses him too!

Every year Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty open up the cafe at the end of the pier to film – bringing with them a host of stars which have previously included Usain Bolt, Orlando Bloom and Ellie Goulding to Southend’s shores.

Jamie and co-host Jimmy Doherty have been a regular presence at their own cafe at the end of the pier, hosting seven seasons of the show over the past six years.


Star quality - Usain Bolt at the Pier caf with Jamie Oliver

But the next series of the Channel 4 cooking show has been postponed amid the Covid-19 crisis, over concerns with social distancing on set.

Reflecting on his time filming at the site, Mr Oliver tweeted: “Missing our time at Southend Pier this year.”

Every year the show attracts a whole wealth of food lovers to the seafront, but Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, says because the cafe is used as a tea room throughout the year when the crew aren’t filming, they’ve been able to keep any money that would’ve been lost from the show not going ahead to a minimum.

He said: “Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast is obviously very popular locally, with many residents wanting to get a glimpse of the stars that join the celebrity chefs on set.

“We are of course disappointed to hear the news that it will not be going ahead this year, although we believe that to be the correct decision given the challenges with social distancing in what is a fairly small café.”


Guest - Martin Clunes alongside the celeb pals

It is believed Channel 4 is planning to air best bits footage from episodes filmed last year, although it is yet to be confirmed when this will be.

Mr Robinson added: “The show gives national coverage of our wonderful pier and gorgeous coastline, and we are hopeful that even though new episodes cannot be filmed, we will still be able to enjoy some previous episodes.”