Undercover TV reporter Donal MacIntyre and his wife have been beaten up by friends of a Chelsea football hooligan he exposed nine years ago. Donal - who came runner-up in this year's Dancing on Ice - was set upon by four smartly-dressed men at the Cloud 9 wine bar in Hampton Court, Surrey on Wednesday, according to reports in The Sun. Wife Ameera De La Rose was also assaulted as she tried to help Donal, who was treated in hospital for the attack, which left him with a black eye and cuts to his face. He told The Sun: "I've had kidnapping threats, been assaulted before, had my car trashed and I've had to move many times. I'll take those slings and arrows, but it crosses a line when my wife gets caught in the crossfire." Donal infiltrated the vicious Chelsea Headhunters hooligan gang for his series MacIntyre Undercover in 2000, and covertly filmed them planning an attack. Following Donal's expose, the gang's members Jason Marriner and Andy 'Nightmare' Frain were jailed for six and seven years respectively. The attack happened shortly after Donal arrived at the wine bar when the four men were apparently heard yelling 'you grass, you snitch'. Donal said: "They launched an assault by punching me. My wife tried to protect me when I was on the floor. They were trying to get me, missed me and then got her. She is extremely distressed." "The attack on us clearly related to my investigation from 2000." A witness from the bar added: "One guy specifically mentioned him turning over his mate Jason Marriner with sneaky tape recorders." Police confirmed that a 48-year-old man from Addlestone, Surrey, had been arrested and quizzed on suspicion of assault. He was bailed pending further inquiries.
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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