Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has been arrested and cautioned by police after having been caught shoplifting on Friday.
In a statement, the 60-year-old restaurateur and television star, who is reported to have stolen wine and cheese from the Henley on Thames branch of Tesco, apologised and promised to “seek the treatment that is clearly needed”.
Alarm bells rang over Worrall Thompson’s behaviour when a hidden camera in the supermarket filmed him on several occasions in December and this month failing to pay for all his goods at the self-scan checkout. On Friday, when it was clear to staff that this was theft and not merely an oversight on behalf of the chef, they called the police.
He was arrested on suspicion of theft and given a formal caution.
Following the event, Worrall Thompson released a statement saying:
“I am so sorry for all my recent stupid and irresponsible actions; I am of course devastated for my family and friends, whom I’ve let down and will seek the treatment that is clearly needed. I am not the first, and I certainly won’t be the last person to do something without rhyme or reason – what went through my head, only time will tell.
“Of course, I must also apologise sincerely to Tesco, with whom I’m had a long and genuine working relationship, and to all the staff at the Henley branch, many of whom I’ve got to know over the years.
“Once again, I am so sorry and hopefully in the future I can make amends.”
Worrall Thompson’s career has seen him open a series of restaurants, four of which closed in 2009, and he has become a well-known face on television in programmes including Food & Drink, Ready Steady Cook, Saturday Kitchen and Daily Cooks Challenge!
His name also appears on several ranges of kitchenware and small appliances.