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TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson's shame after shoplifting

By Ben Mitchell

TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson has been arrested for shoplifting cheese and wine at a supermarket, police have said.

The Ready Steady Cook star (60) was cautioned by police after he was caught stealing from the Tesco store in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

The former I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! contestant, whose restaurant business has been hit by the recession, was caught while using a self-scanning till on Friday.

According to The Sun, a camera had been set up after he was spotted by staff not paying for some low-value items on a total of five occasions.

He was stopped by guards leaving the store in front of shocked shoppers.

A police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police arrested a 60-year-old man from High Wycombe following a report of shoplifting offences in Tesco, Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames.

"The man has been issued with a formal caution for these offences."

A Tesco spokesman said: "It's a matter for police."

In a message on his website, Worrall Thompson said: "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've 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 has been a regular fixture on television cookery shows for more than a decade.

The chef, who was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, grew up in a theatrical family.

Both his parents were actors and he is the godson of Richard Burton, who was his father's understudy at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Worrall Thompson, who said he comes from "a posh sort of family, in a way", was sent to boarding school aged three.

His parents split up at around the same time and he was 21 before he saw his father again.

A course in catering management was followed by a series of jobs learning his trade at various restaurants in Essex.

He shot to fame in the early 1980s when he opened a restaurant called Menage a Trois in London's Knightsbridge.

The boom in cookery programmes in the 1990s propelled him into a different league and he was soon making regular appearances on shows including Food and Drink and Ready, Steady, Cook.

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