Henry Antony Cardew Worrall Thompson (born 1 May 1951) is an English restaurateur and celebrity chef, television presenter and radio broadcaster.
Thompson was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, where he sustained facial injuries while playing rugby. He had to wait until he was twenty-one years old before he could have plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement.
After he left school, he studied hotel management at Westminster Kingsway College. Taking his first catering job in Essex, it is rumoured that his grandmother refused to write to him because she could not bring herself to write "Essex" on the envelope. In 1978, he moved to London and became sous-chef at Brinkley's Restaurant at Fulham Road, becoming head chef one year later. The following year he took a sabbatical in France, eating and working his way around the local cuisine. After this he returned to Britain and started producing pans with his business partner Hassan.
Prior to opening his first restaurant, Worrall Thompson was Executive Chef at 190 Queens Gate in South Kensington, London. Worrall Thompson opened his first restaurant, Ménage à Trois, in Knightsbridge in 1981, notable for only serving starters and puddings. He then launched several successful restaurants, including Wiz and Woz in west London and Metro in Jersey, all of which reflect his somewhat individual approach to food. Until late 2006, he was Catering Director for Old Luxters Barn, in Buckinghamshire.
In February 2009, his restaurant holding company AWT Restaurants was placed into administration. Four restaurants closed – the Notting Grill in west London, the Barnes Grill in south-west London, together with two pubs in Henley-on-Thames, the Lamb Inn and the Greyhound with the loss of 60 jobs, Worrall Thompson personally bought back the remaining Windsor Grill in Berkshire, the Kew Grill in south-west London, and delicatessen the Windsor Larder.
It was revealed in April 2009 that Thompson's restaurant chain trouble was the result of its being "overstretched" and that his restaurants "had debts of more than £800,000 and owed 214 creditors money.
Thompson made his first television appearance on BBC2's Food and Drink, before appearing on Ready Steady Cook from 1994. In 2001, he appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank, and in 2003, he appeared in the second series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which led to him replacing Gregg Wallace as the host of BBC2's Saturday Kitchen. The show moved to BBC1 to replace Saturday morning children's television, and then to ITV from June 2006 to May 2010 as Saturday Cooks. He represented the Midlands and East of England in series one of the BBC's Great British Menu but was beaten by Galton Blackiston, after burning the meat course of his entry prior to the judging phase.
Thompson married Jill when he was 22; the couple divorced five years later. He subsequently married an Australian, Militza. The couple had two children and divorced. He is currently married to his third wife Jacinta Shiel. The couple live in High Wycombe and have two children. He also has a child from a brief liaison.
In January 2012, he received a police caution for shoplifting items, including wine and cheese, from the Henley-on-Thames branch of Tesco on a total of five occasions. Later in 2015 he spoke of how the total of 5 shoplifting attempts was £70.68 and how he thinks he did it for the excitement, he was depressed and sought counselling.
Worrall Thompson is a patron of FOREST, a UK-based, tobacco industry-financed lobby opposing government regulation of tobacco. In February 2010, in a feature for Radio 4's Woman's Hour, he said that he had given up smoking.
In 2003, Worrall Thompson funded the Antony Worrall Thompson Trophy – a charity football cup played by 8 semi-professional teams in the summer, pre-season. However, due to Worrall Thompson's financial issues, the trophy lasted only one year and was never replayed after Altrincham F.C.'s 2003–2004 victory over Northwich Victoria F.C.. Altrincham won the game 4–3.
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