The TV host pleaded guilty today to benefit fraud to the tune of £24,000.

Penteado, 40, who co-hosts Rogue Traders with Matt Allwright, admitted eight offences of dishonesty or knowingly claiming council tax and housing benefit while not declaring he earned thousands from the BBC for the show.

He has been granted bail while a pre-sentence report is prepared for a July 17 hearing at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court.

Penteado’s offences stretch from 2007 to 2011. He initially failed on a housing benefit and council tax benefit application form to declare he had another bank account, the court heard.

At the time, his salary from the BBC was more than £56,000.

Citing one example, prosecutor Kerry O’Neill said: “Between 16 April 2008 and 15 September 2008 it became known to the borough council that the defendant received £16,551.30 from the BBC but the defendant failed to disclose this information to the borough council.”

Penteado continued to deceive the council until he received an arrest warrant, issued when he ignored letters from the council, and failed to show up when he was summonsed to court.

It is understood Penteado handed himself in on June 14. At the time he said: “It’s all a misunderstanding that’s causing a lot of grief for my family. There is no arrest warrant. I’ve been to the police station and I’ve not been arrested.”

In court, O’Neill said: “Since March 2012 three payments of £70 have been paid back in respect of the sum owed. That leaves the outstanding sum of housing benefit and council tax benefit which he is not entitled to as $23,867.60.”

Penteado is familiar to viewers of Watchdog as one half of the motorbike-riding team of investigators who chase down unscrupulous tradesmen and bring them to justice.

In the last series of Watchdog, the pair confronted eight business owners who they felt were ripping off the public.