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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
TV's Tarrant 'bemused' by arrest
Chris Tarrant
Tarrant was made an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours

TV presenter Chris Tarrant is said to be "bemused" following his arrest in Nottingham for an alleged assault.

The Who Wants to be a Millionaire? host was arrested after allegedly injuring a fellow diner with a piece of cutlery at a curry house in the city.

According to his spokesman, Tarrant had jokingly dropped cutlery onto the table of a couple with whom he had chatted.

"There was no physical contact, no unpleasantness and no hostility," said the former Tiswas host's publicist.

"It was just part of the ongoing banter between the two tables."

Flak jackets

He said Tarrant had had two pints of beer over the course of the day and had shared a bottle of red wine at the restaurant with a colleague.

"Ten minutes later, Chris said he was aware of raised voices. He sees the bloke leaving the restaurant and assumed he had a row with his girlfriend," his representative continued.

"Chris goes back to the Plaza Hotel directly opposite. Half an hour later four flak-jacketed police officers turn up and arrest him on suspicion of assault."

Speaking later Tarrant referred to the "mythical alleged assault" and dismissed it as "just utter nonsense. There was no aggro, there was no temper, there was no problem".

'Shocked and stunned'

But he admitted that he did jokingly "lob" some cutlery onto the couple's table after asking them to leave him alone to discuss work with his colleagues.

He told BBC News: "I've no idea what his motives were - it genuinely makes no sense.

"I got back from the station at 1am and to this minute I am completely bemused by what happened."

The presenter, who had spent three days filming a show for disabled children in the city, was bailed to appear in June.

Tarrant has rarely been out of the headlines since the collapse of his marriage last year.

He and his wife Ingrid separated after a series of stories appeared in the media accusing the presenter of an affair. The couple divorced in February.

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