Ainsley Harriott: who is TV chef and what happened to his sister at Chelsea Flower Show 2022 VIP event?

The TV Chef took to Twitter to tell worried fans his sister was ‘doing fine and all is well’

Former Ready Steady Cook presenter, Ainsley Harriott has saved his sister from drowning at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The well-known TV chef was visiting the horticultural show with his sister Jacqueline, who reportedly tripped and fell into a water feature.

The dramatic scenes unfolded on the first day of the event, with Harriott springing into action to pull his sister to safety, with the help of members of the public.

The TV chef has been hailed as a hero for his quick action.

Here’s everything you need to know about the incident.

Who is Ainsley Harriott?

Harriott is a TV chef, who is best known for presenting the daytime cooking shows Ready Steady Cook and Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook.

Ainsley Harriott attending the Chelsea Flower Show (Pic: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)Ainsley Harriott attending the Chelsea Flower Show (Pic: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Ainsley Harriott attending the Chelsea Flower Show (Pic: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

A talented chef, he began his career working at Verrey’s restaurant in London’s West End.

His first TV role was as the resident chef on ITV’s Good Morning with Nick and Anne, before he became the presenter for BBC’s Can’t Cook Won’t Cook and Ready Steady Cook.

He is a best-selling author and has released 18 cooking books that have sold over two million copies worldwide.

Harriott was awarded an MBE by Prince Charles in 2020 for services to broadcasting and the culinary arts.

Describing the award Harriot said in a statement on his website: “This is a great honour for me and for everyone who has helped me on my way over the years. It was a very special day and mum would have been proud!”

What happened to his sister at the Chelsea Flower Show?

Harriott was visiting on the first day (23 May) of the Chelsea Flower Show with his sister Jaqueline.

She reportedly tripped and fell into a water feature, which was part of the BBC Studios’ Our Green Planet and RHS Bee Garden display.

The 65-year-old TV chef sprung into action, pulling his sister from the water, with the help of on-lookers.

Celebrities, including DIY presenter Nick Knowles were present as the incident unfolded.

Taking to Twitter after the ordeal Harriot said: “Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She’s doing fine and all is well.”

Harriot and his sister were attending the VIP launch of the Chelsea Flower Show on 23 May.

The show opens to members of the public from 24 May to 28 May.

What has the Chelsea Flower Show said?

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), who runs the Chelsea Flower Show have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

In a statement they said: “The guest was quickly attended to by on-site medical professionals and we are pleased to say is now home and well.”

RHS volunteer, Matt Peskett, who witnessed the fall, spoke to The Telegraph and confirmed that barriers had now been erected.

He said: “There were 30 or 40 celebs out and they were all drinking champagne. And then all of a sudden one of the guests stepped backwards and fell in. They fully fell in, not just a foot.

“I hope they don’t keep it like this tomorrow - it would be a shame.”

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