TV chef Heston Blumenthal has been forced to close his restaurant The Fat Duck after dozens of diners were hit by a mystery bug.

Blumenthal – whose new Channel 4 show Heston’s Feasts begins this week – made the “upsetting” decision to shut down after around 40 people who had eaten in the restaurant, were taken ill in the last three weeks.

Boxing promoter Frank Warren was among those who were struck down with the bug.

“It’s very strange,” he told The Sun.

“Four or five years ago we enlisted the help of a hygiene consulting company and we routinely send samples off for analysis as we know there can be all sorts of pitfalls in the supply chain.

All our systems are checked and monitored. We have done everything in our power and I’ve never come across anything like this before.”

The restaurant has become famous for serving such offbeat dishes as snail porridge and bacon and egg ice-cream.