Chris Tarrant pleads guilty to drink driving and gets fined £6k

Chris Tarrant has been fined £6,000 after he pleaded guilty to drink driving in court this morning.

The 71-year-old TV star is also banned from driving for 12 months after he was stopped leaving the Bladebone Inn near his home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, in November.

Chris Tarrant outside Reading Magistrates Court January 18 (PA)
Chris Tarrant outside Reading Magistrates Court January 18 (PA)

Reading Magistrates Court heard that he was charged with driving his Mercedes car with 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breathe.

The legal limit is 35 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breathe.

The pub Tarrant was at is just 1.5 miles away from his home, roughly a four-minute drive.

The former Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? presenter previously hit back at the allegation by saying he was ‘entirely sober’ before he arrived home from an afternoon at the pub.

Chris Tarrant and partner Jane Bird outside Reading Magistrates Court (PA)
Chris Tarrant and partner Jane Bird outside Reading Magistrates Court (PA)

Speaking outside court, Mr Tarrant said: ‘I made a mistake and I paid for it. I shouldn’t have driven. Full stop.’

He went on to say he ‘very sorry’, and that he drank ‘just enough to be over’, adding: ‘I honestly didn’t think I was over, but apparently I was, so fair enough.’

Asked if he thought the punishment was fair, he said: ‘Yes.’

The Bladebone Inn public house in the village of Chapel Row in Berkshire. (PA)
The Bladebone Inn public house in the village of Chapel Row in Berkshire. (PA)

Police were reportedly tipped off about his drink driving by a neighbour who is said to have been unhappy about Tarrant’s plans to extend his £2million home.

The star had already extended his seven-bed mansion three times after he bought it in 2004 for £1million.

An application to build a two-storey extension with two beds on the top floor and a utility room and snug on the ground floor was rejected by councillors but overturned on appeal.

Neighbours in Bucklebury, which is the Duchess of Cambridge’s home village, objected because the house is in a beauty spot.

Chris Tarrant during a 2001 celebrity special of the TV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (PA)
Chris Tarrant during a 2001 celebrity special of the TV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (PA)

However, police said that there was no indication that officers had made the 2pm arrest following a tip-off from the public, indicating that police had routinely stopped the vehicle.

Local residents said that he was popular and had not caused enough upset for anyone to have tried to take revenge on him by making a call to the police.

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