Nobody guessed Rick Stein on five year affair that ended marriage to Jill Stein

This Morning: Phillip pulls a face over Rick Stein's fish pie

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Rick Stein, 74, married Jill Stein in 1975 and the couple set up their restaurant and hotel business. The marriage did not last however, due to Jill finding out about Rick’s five year long affair with Sarah Burns, which had started in 1997.

Nobody guessed.

Rick Stein

Rick spoke openly about the end of his first marriage in his memoir Extracted From Under a Mackerel Sky, published in 2013.

The restaurateur began an affair with Sarah Burns, a publicity manager who was paying him to judge Australia’s best restaurant.

Sarah was also married at the time, with their relationship being entirely professional, at the beginning.

Rick said: “Nothing, I sensed, would ever be the same again: I’d crossed a border into another land.

“What happened between us was no longer a question of right and wrong. It had to be.”

He found any excuse to go to Australia to see Sarah and was able to hide his true feelings from everyone back home in the UK.

Rick continued: “Nobody guessed.

“In 2002, I moved out of the family home.

“That same year, my son Edward married his girlfriend Kate. The wedding was enchanting but I went to it feeling like an outcast.”

Rick didn’t pluck the courage to propose to Sarah for another seven years. But the pair later married in 2011.

When his previous wife Jill found out about the affair, she ended the marriage with the divorce being finalised in 2007.

Despite their divorce, the couple still kept running their successful businesses together, working amicably together.

Speaking about his marriage to Jill, he said to The Mirror: “We didn’t have a life outside the business and we kind of fell out of love.

“I’d never [been unfaithful] before and I certainly won’t do it again, that’s for sure.

“I’m just so happy now.”

He runs 10 restaurants in the UK, with four of them in his home town of Padstow.

Rick told The Times earlier this year that he “nearly lost the whole business” during the Covid pandemic last year.

He shared how his restaurant empire, which is run from Padstow and employed 600 people at the time, was on the brink of bankruptcy.

He said: “It was very scary and we nearly lost the whole business.

“And it’s certainly not just my work we’re talking about — Jill (Rick’s ex-wife and business partner) and the children have put so much into it too. Not being there was horrible.”

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