Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has been cautioned for shoplifting “low-value goods”.
The 60-year-old was questioned by police and issued with a formal caution on Friday after being arrested at a Tesco store in Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. It is understood Worrall Thompson was spotted by staff at a self-service checkout in the shop with items including wine and cheese.
Tesco declined to comment on the incident, referring to it as “a police matter”. A police statement read: “Thames Valley Police arrested a 60-year-old man from High Wycombe following a report of shoplifting offences.
“The man has been issued with a formal caution for these offences.”
Writing on his personal 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’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 opened his first restaurant in 1981 and went on to build a business empire. However, he rose to fame in the public eye during the celebrity chef boom of the 1990s, making regular appearances on shows such as Ready Steady Cook and Daily Cooks Challenge.
In recent years the chef has been forced to close a number of his restaurants owing to the recession.