A former television presenter wanted over a parcel bomb attack on a Sydney fitness trainer has been arrested in the UK after 17 years on the run.

Roberto Saenz de Heredia, 47, fled Australia in 1999 after he was ordered to stand trial for the 1998 attempted murder of former friend, personal fitness trainer Brett Boyd.

New South Wales police have confirmed a 47-year-old man wanted over the attempted murder was arrested by UK authorities at Gatwick Airport on April 27.

"The man had left Australia in 1999 and it is alleged since this time he has been evading authorities and living under a false name," police said. "Detectives from Northern Beaches Local Area Command are hoping to have him extradited to Australia in the very near future to face charges."

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De Heredia had reportedly begun a new life in Spain as a foreign exchange trader and was arrested travelling to visit family in Britain after UK authorities discovered his secret identities.

The former host of Foxtel's Television Shopping Network was briefly feared murdered in July 1999 when his car was found abandoned and smeared with his own blood at Kings Cross.

However, detectives discovered he'd used a stolen passport to fly to Bali on July 27, 1999, a month before he was due to stand trial for attempted murder.

Police allege de Heredia planted a parcel bomb which exploded at former friend Brett Boyd's northern beaches Belrose home in June 1998 after Boyd failed to repay an A$80,000 loan.

The fitness trainer lost his left eye and right thumb and sustained facial scars and partial deafness in the explosion. He committed suicide in 2008.

Three weeks before fleeing Australia de Heredia survived an apparent attempt on his life when he was shot three times outside his Botany home.

Several months before the attack on de Heredia, Boyd was arrested in possession of a machine gun and pistol outside the Sydney police station where his former friend had been due to report while on bail.

- AAP