An ex-newsreader who lost everything through credit card debt and alcohol abuse was arrested at a £130-a-night hotel for allegedly hitting a woman.

Ed Mitchell, who once interviewed the likes of Margaret Thatcher as a newsreader for ITN and the BBC, took to sleeping rough on Hove seafront four weeks ago after he was bankrupted by debts of up to £250,000.

The 54-year-old was arrested early on Sunday in a suite at the Thistle Hotel on Brighton seafront.

He was detained in a cell for 13 hours before being released without charge.

Mr Mitchell, who was put up in the four-star hotel after doing an interview with a Sunday newspaper, denied knowing the woman.

He said: "I'm truly and totally the innocent party in all this."

Mr Mitchell claims no blows were exchanged during the heated conversation that lasted a couple of minutes.

He was released at about 3pm on Sunday and police said they planned to take no further action.

Mr Mitchell had agreed to present The Argus' morning internet news bulletins but the arrangement has been cancelled by mutual consent.