TELEVISION dragon Duncan Bannatyne enjoyed a meal in Hartlepool - and alerted a restaurant regular of exactly where he was when he published a photo on Twitter.
The famous businessman posted a picture looking out on the sea on Wednesday night which was immediately recognised by Hartlepool man Paul Thompson as the view from Seaton Carew restaurant Matteo’s.
Paul, 31, from Owton Manor tweeted Duncan to say he was eating at his favourite restaurant to which the entrepreneur replied “well spotted”.
But while Paul was delighted over his brief interaction with the television star online, Matteo’s manager Fausto Tabarrini, admitted his disappointment, as while he was hard at work in the kitchen he didn’t realise he was actually cooking for a celebrity.
Fausto, whose wife Joanne, 41, owns the restaurant, named after their five-year-old son, likes to meet and greet his guests and said he would have loved to have had a photo taken with Duncan.
The 48-year-old who lives in Trimdon, said: “I had no idea he was in the restaurant until I got a text saying he had posted the photo on Twitter but he had gone by that point.
“I mentioned it to our staff and one of the waiters said he thought he had recognised him.
“I was a little bit gutted that I didn’t get to meet him, that was a shame but it’s fantastic that he came to our restaurant.”
And judging by his tweets, Duncan thoroughly enjoyed his visit. He posted afterwards saying that the food was “very good”.
Paul, who is the managing director of his own business consultancy firm, PTC, and lives with his wife, Pamela, 34, and their son, Jude, six, said: “I am a regular in Matteo’s and as soon as I saw that photo on Twitter I knew where he was.
“In the spur of the moment I tweeted him but I didn’t really expect a response, it was a pleasant surprise.”
Paul was obviously not the only person who recognised Duncan was in Seaton Carew. The businessman’s daughter published a photo on Twitter of a message that had been left on his windscreen for when he returned to his car, his famous line on Dragon’s Den: “I’m out.”