Jamie Oliver chased a burglar down the street before tackling him to the ground after catching the would-be thief trying to break into his £8.9million ($NZD17.6million) mansion.

The TV chef and restaurateur, 43, reportedly pinned the burglar to the ground while neighbours called 999, reports the Mirror.

One neighbour on the father-of-five's street in Highgate, north London, said: "It was just a brave, selfless thing to do.

"Despite the clearly very hairy situation, Jamie was laughing and joking with the coppers saying they'd done a great job to arrive so quickly after the 999 call.

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"Everyone is really thankful for his quick thinking and courage."

The raider tried to break into Jamie's £8.9million, eight-bedroom mansion and other homes along the exclusive street.

One of the other homes in Jamie's street is believed to belong to Kate Moss - although it is not known if she was at home during the break-in at Jamie's house.

Another source told the Mirror: "As well as protecting his family, he is very community spirited and cares just as much for the welfare of his neighbours as well. That's probably why he leapt into action."

Jamie was at home with his wife Jools and five children - Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, nine, Buddy, seven, and two-year-old River - at the time of the break-in on Tuesday evening.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "At 7.13pm on Tuesday, 4th of September, police were called to reports of an aggressive male attempting to gain entry to residential addresses in N6.

"The male was apprehended by members of the public and was ­subsequently detained by police.

"He was taken to a North London police station where he remains at this time. Officers from Central North Command Unit are investigating."

Last month Jamie Oliver revealed he ploughed £12.7million of his own money into his struggling restaurant business after being given two hours to save the chain.

Earlier this year, Jamie announced he was closing 12 of his 37 Jamie's Italian restaurants with 200 jobs affected.

Speaking about the crisis, Jamie told theFinancial Times Magazine: "I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to s*** that day or the next day... It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that."

Jamie told the financial newspaper that his firm "simply run out of cash" and raged at "people supposed to manage that stuff".