Jamie Oliver has heaped praise on wife Jools for being his rock during a turbulent time which has seen his business rack up £71.5million of debt.

The celebrity chef was forced to restructure the company and close several branches of his restaurant chain as a result and admits that it’s proved pretty difficult to deal with.

“Yeah, I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough,” says Jamie, 42. “I’m proud, because ten years in the restaurant business is a very long time.

“Conditions are really different now from when we opened and it’s not easy for mid-market restaurants.”

Fortunately Jamie has had Jools – with whom he has children Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, 9, Buddy, 8, and one-year-old River Rocket – by his side throughout it all and is very grateful for her support.

“Jools couldn’t be any cooler, kinder, sweeter or more loyal, so I’m lucky, thankfully,” the cook tells Closer magazine. “Normally I have radio silence [phone turned off] during family time, like evenings and weekends, but you can’t when the s*** hits the fan.

“Jools has been great at listening, but also knowing when I don’t want to talk about it and carving out space for me at home.”

The couple have been married since 2000 so clearly know each other inside out, but it sounds like Jamie could still shock Jools with his next potential move…

“I won’t tell Jools, it’ll be a surprise!” he says of his plan. “I’m going to get a tattoo done by an artist called Dr Woo, who Fearne Cotton put me on to.

“Now, I know tattoos are not made for my generation – I’m not a hipster and I don’t have a beard – but I want one now.

“My erotic side is thinking about having it done on my inner thigh or buttocks, but Jools wouldn’t like that. She’d give me a slap!

“So I’m thinking maybe the inner arm – I’d have something profound, a little bit hippy and philosophical. I just don’t know what yet.”

We can’t wait to hear what Jools will make of that!