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Chef Blanc breaks a leg falling down his stairs

chef Raymond Blanc been taken to hospital after falling down the stairs at his home.

The Michelin-starred TV chef (60), who is back on the small screen with his first cookery programme in 13 years, broke his leg in the fall.

His fiancee, Russian-born doctor Natalia Traxel (37), was at the house when he fell and she rang for paramedics who took him to hospital.

Blanc, famed for his flagship British Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons restaurant, is expected to have an operation today and will return home to rest.

A spokeswoman for the star said: "It has been confirmed that Raymond Blanc, chef patron of Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons, has broken his leg.

"Monsieur Blanc will have a minor operation today to set his broken bones and will return home to recuperate.

"He is resting comfortably at the moment and thanks everyone for their kind wishes."

Blanc, who moved to England in 1972, is sharing his tips and techniques on BBC2 with Raymond Blanc: Kitchen Secrets. He recently fronted The Restaurant, in which couples competed for the opportunity to go into business with Blanc, for the BBC.

The last series was criticised over the choice of winner, while the couple who won the first series handed over their restaurant after just six months.