Oxford restaurant Porters, which features in chef Raymond Blanc’s new reality TV show ‘The Restaurant’, has closed.

The show sees nine couples take an empty restaurant and try to turn it into a successful business. The winners will be able to run their own restaurant financed and supported by Blanc.

Porters was already ailing in April, when the BBC took over for a week’s filming. A subsequent refurbishment failed to keep the business afloat long enough to benefit from any publicity off the back of the show.

Owners Jonathan Flint and Sara Reevell blamed soaring rents and the increasing presence of big chains. University College, the landlords, refused to confirm an extension of the lease.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Flint said: “When all that the landlords are interested in is how much they can get out of a property, then the only players will be the chain groups.”

Flint went on to suggest Oxford is “losing its character.” “Look at Cowley Road – the local shops can't afford it,” he said.

The Restaurant starts this Wednesday, 8pm on BBC2.