Jamie Oliver's new Brighton restaurant had to cancel its grand opening because of problems with the gas supply.

Customers hoping to be among first members of the public to try the menu at Jamie's Italian were unable to enter the premises last night.

One unhappy patron contacted The Argus to say disgruntled diners were turned away at the door with nothing in the way of compensation.

The man, who had hoped to treat his family at Jamie's Italian, in Black Lion Street, Brighton, had spent about £20 on travel and parking.

He said: “At least they could have offered us a glass of wine or a voucher for next time. No such luck. Just an apology and a phone number for next time on a scrap bit of paper.”

A spokesman for the celebrity chef said the restaurant had to close temporarily because there was “no gas”.

He added: “We were very sorry to have to close but we couldn’t let people into the restaurant for health and safety reasons.”

The spokesman refuted suggestions that customers were unhappy with their treatment.

He said: “I spoke to the restaurant and they said that everyone understood and accepted the apology and quietly went on their way.”

The gas problem has now been fixed and the restaurant was able to open today, the spokesman said.

Monday's cancellation came at the end of an eventful day for the restaurant.

Earlier, a pregnant woman took part in a near-naked protest directly outside to highlight the plight of pigs consumed by the food industry.

The demonstration was organised by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) under the sign “Be Pukka to Pigs: Go Vegetarian”.

Peta member Lynzi Warrington crouched on her hands and knees in a metal crate dressed only in flesh-coloured underwear in a protest against Oliver's “promotion of pig consumption and particularly British pork”.

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