James Martin says the BBC discriminated against him because of his northern accent. The Yorkshire-born chef told the Daily Mail: “I didn’t get two jobs from the BBC because of my accent. I can’t say what jobs they were, but it was before I moved to ITV. It happened more than two years ago. I know because they told me [it was because of my accent].”
James, 45, presented Saturday Kitchen on BBC1 for ten years, and left in 2016 to present Saturday Morning with James Martin on ITV.
He added that it wasn’t the reason he had left the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, but that “you’d be wrong if you said they don’t discriminate against people because of their accents.”
The BBC responded by pointing out how many shows James had presented on the channel, including Saturday Kitchen, The Great British Budget Menu, Home Comforts, Ready Steady Cook, Operation Meet the Street, Operation Hospital Food, James Martin’s Food Map of Britain, Junior Bake Off and a guest presenting slot on The One Show.
We love the Yorkshire accent, and James is one of our favourite TV faces, so we really hope that this isn’t the case, or that times have changed since then.
There was at one point speculation that James might be named as a presented for BBC’s Top Gear, due to his personal interest in cars (he owns 20 luxurious models!) but the channel were worried it would interfere with his Saturday morning filming.
BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern made headlines recently by saying the BBC had a class bias. The channel responded saying that more than 80 per cent of their workforce were educated in state schools, and that the organisation is more diverse than ever before.
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