17 APRIL 2007

An angry Jamie Oliver has offered a hefty reward to anyone who can help bring to justice the armed robbers who raided his parents' pub. The culinary whizz, who is currently in America, has said he's prepared to pay £150,000 for information about the attack on The Cricketers – the place where he first dreamed of becoming a chef when he was a little boy.

Jamie was furious after a group of four to six masked men stormed the upmarket Essex inn that his mum and dad have managed for the last 30 years. The gang struck at closing time on Sunday, making off with £5,000 in cash, though thankfully no-one was hurt.

Jamie is so keen to catch the culprits he's indicated he's prepared to offer an even bigger reward if it could guarantee catching them. "I've offered more than most rewards because if it takes four to six masked men to raid a country pub then I think even most criminals would agree this bunch are pathetic," he said.

Trevor Oliver, the star's dad, who wasn't at the pub when the attack happened, initially tried to keep news of the raid from his son to save him from worrying. "Jamie's got the world on his shoulders with his work for his school dinners campaign, Fifteen Foundation and Feed Me Better," he said. "The last thing he wants is me miaowing about my troubles," he added.

Photo: ©
Jamie Oliver's dad Trevor runs the award-winning 16th-century inn The Cricketers along with the TV chef's mum SallyPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
The 31-year-old star has offered a hefty reward for information leading to the arrest of a gang of criminals who attacked the Essex watering hole. "Everything will be dealt with in the proper confidential manner, so I don't want people to be scared," he said

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