It has emerged that a routine health and safety check at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant last month revealed a secret underground laboratory and gave rise to suspicions that the ginger chef, widely believed to be a genius, was planning to take over the world.
Officials from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead had been told that pastry-faced Blumenthal (22), who admitted to a possible outbreak of food poisoning last week, was unavailable for questioning because he had popped out to Lidl for some king prawns.
Officers grew suspicious, however, when they heard evil laughter and someone muttering "I'm going to take over the world" from beneath the floor of the scrupulously clean kitchen. On further investigation they discovered an enormous underground lair with a fully equipped 'state of the art' laboratory.
In a press conference yesterday, a spokesman for the council announced that over 2,500 phials of unidentified substances and a large quantity of organic material had been taken away for examination. They would not comment, however, on suggestions that Blumenthal - who was the inspiration for the children's cartoon "Dexter's Lab" - had been attempting to clone fellow 3 Michelin starred celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, using value pork sausages and a Bulls head.
A Fat Duck employee told reporters that in recent months Blumenthal had become increasingly obsessed with creating the essence of the personality of Ramsay in the form of an aerosol spray, using a base of onion mayonnaise and a variety of chemicals. "He's been boasting about trying it out on a few punters for weeks" he revealed. When more than 500 Fat Duck diners rang in last week and complained of nausea, red faces, uncontrollable swearing and clapping, Blumenthal's friends began to fear that he had put his evil plan into action.
Publicist and best friend, Max Clifford, would not comment on the chef's mental state but disclosed that his behaviour had become increasingly worrying since he read 'Alice in Wonderland' and had begun frequenting several opium dens in Maidenhead. "Heston has been admitted to the Priory with exhaustion" he told reporters. "He is in full control of his faculties and is keen to have his treatment filmed so that others will not suffer as he has".
Blumenthal is due to publish his new book "Lose A Stone In A Week With Freeze-Dried Locusts" later in the year.