Gino D’Acampo claims he turned down an invite to tea with the Queen because he didn’t like the food

‘It’s my worst nightmare’: Gino D’Acampo claims he turned down an invite to tea with the Queen because he’s ‘not keen on cucumber sandwiches’

Gino D’Acampo has claimed he turned down an invitation to tea from the Queen because he didn’t like the food and drink on offer. 

The Italian-born TV chef described cucumber sandwiches as his ‘worst nightmare’ and added that he also didn’t want to dress smartly for the occasion.

Speaking to The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden, the Family Fortunes host, 46, said bluntly: ‘I’m not very keen on tea or cucumber sandwiches.’

'It's my worst nightmare': Gino D'Acampo has claimed he turned down an invite to tea with the Queen because he's 'not keen on cucumber sandwiches'

‘It’s my worst nightmare’: Gino D’Acampo has claimed he turned down an invite to tea with the Queen because he’s ‘not keen on cucumber sandwiches’

He added: ‘I was invited to the Palace for tea just before Covid, but a cucumber sandwich is my worst nightmare. 

‘I don’t like tea either, so I phoned my agent and said: “I’d love to meet her, but I don’t like tea and cucumber sandwiches, and I can’t do either of those things. 

“I’m also going to have to wear a tie, and the last time I did that was when I got married. I can’t do that. But if I can have a plate of pasta and a cup of coffee, I’m in.”‘

Snubbed: Gino said that he'd 'love to meet' the Queen but didn't like the food and drink on offer and also didn't want to dress smartly for the occasion

Snubbed: Gino said that he’d ‘love to meet’ the Queen but didn’t like the food and drink on offer and also didn’t want to dress smartly for the occasion

While Gino may not be a fan of cucumber sandwiches himself, he recently launched an afternoon tea at his eponymous restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne which features the classic British dish – but with an Italian twist that adds truffle cream cheese. 

Worst nightmare: Gino didn't want to have the traditional British cuisine on offer

Worst nightmare: Gino didn’t want to have the traditional British cuisine on offer 

Gino grew up in Naples, before moving to the UK and opening his first restaurant age 21. His eponymous eatery now has venues in Birmingham, Manchester, Harrogate, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull. 

He suffered a financial setback earlier this year, however, when his fast-food chain of pasta bars collapsed with £5 million of debts in January. 

It wasn’t just Gino affected by the collapse, with his This Morning co-star Phillip Schofield also losing thousands. 

Phil owned 2,200 of the 119,000 shares in My Pasta Bars Ltd which served pasta ‘on the go’. The collapse left 49 creditors out of pocket and owed more than £37,000 to staff in unpaid wages.

Gino is understood to earn around £2 million annually from television work, including hosting Family Fortunes and regular appearances on This Morning.

He is also a former winner of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Oops: Gino's fast-food chain of pasta bars collapsed with £5 million of debts in January, with his This Morning co-star Phillip Schofield also losing thousands in investments

Oops: Gino’s fast-food chain of pasta bars collapsed with £5 million of debts in January, with his This Morning co-star Phillip Schofield also losing thousands in investments 

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