Chef Steven Saunders has pulled out of a £50m London casino and restaurant venture with adult entertainment group Playboy.
The former Ready Steady Cook chef was due to open a 120-seat restaurant and two bars on the ground floor of the Northumberland House development near Trafalgar Square, but has withdrawn after funding dried up.
Saunders said he changed his mind after project developer Blewstone Group asked him to put up more of his own cash than he originally intended. "It would have taken about £4.5m to set up the restaurant, which was too much of a liability for me to take on at the moment," he told Caterer.
Blewstone Group director Barry Llewellyn admitted there was "an issue with funding". "The fact Steven couldn't put in as much money and time as we wanted was a contributing factor," he said.
Blewstone has now gone back to the drawing board.
The projected opening date in June next year will be delayed "by a couple of months", Llewellyn said.
By Tom Bill