Anthony Worrall Thompson begins his road to redemption in Ireland
THE under-fire chef who cooked up a storm last week when he was caught stealing cheese, onions and discounted coleslaw from his local Tesco supermarket in Britain -- says his road to redemption begins in Ireland.
The light-fingered chef described a fundraising event in Dublin on Saturday evening as "the first step towards rebuilding my life".
The 60-year-old former 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' contestant and star of 'Ready Steady Cook' was cautioned by police after he was secretly filmed stealing from a Tesco store in Oxfordshire while using a self-scanning till earlier this month.
But on Saturday, the father of four was at hand to lend his culinary flair to a €100-a-head fundraiser dinner at Malahide Rugby Club in North County Dublin.
The dinner surpassed expectations by raising over €15,000 for two promising sailors, Ger Owens (32) and Scott Flanigan (18), who are hoping to compete in the Olympic Games later this year in London.
"I've been a complete idiot, that's all I can say. And I'm here to make a start on rebuilding my life. I have always felt like an adopted Irish person but maybe I'm not any more after events from last week," Mr Worrall Thompson told the Irish Independent.
"Tonight is all about raising funds for Ger and Scott. I have Irish connections -- my wife is originally from Malahide and that's why we're here," he said.
"I also have Irish links through grandfathers, brothers and sisters who married people from this country over the years."
Scott and Ger's next step on the road to Olympic glory is to compete in the 470 World Championships in Barcelona next May where the remaining eight nation spots for the Olympics will be decided.
Later in the evening, Mr Worrall Thompson dashed off for an appearance on RTE's 'Saturday Night Show',where he revealed to host Brendan O'Connor his own Olympic battle to overcome his demons.
It subsequently emerged that the chef put his money where his mouth was and donated his appearance fee to the fundraising effort for Ger and Scott, while RTE also donated an undisclosed sum.
"I'm in a bad place obviously," Mr Worrall Thompson said.
"I'm very embarrassed, very ashamed; I put my hands up to it, I did it, which is inexplicable," he said, adding that he was having counselling.
"I reckon I'm usually a pretty good guy; I do a lot for charity, a lot of helping other people and I don't know what on earth made me do that."