Why did James leave Saturday Kitchen?
When chef James Martin left Saturday Kitchen earlier this year we were heartbroken.
“That’s lovely of you to say so but it really was time for me to go,” he tells us over breakfast at a central London hotel. “There were loads of rumours going around about why I left – from being told I wasn’t allowed to make an omelette, to budget cuts.
"But the truth is that ten years of doing the show every Saturday morning was enough.
“I was at an awards ceremony in Dubai last year when a bloke on stage dropped dead, eight feet away from me. He was the same age as me and had a similar job. At that moment, I decided my career had to change.
“I had just two days off last year and it was getting tough. It wasn’t just Saturday mornings– I was having to give up Friday nights in my restaurant – a big ask for any chef – because I’d have to be in bed by 8pm in order to leave at 3am Saturday morning to get to London in time for the show. It was a huge commitment. When I stopped Saturday Kitchen I was able to do normal Saturday morning things like taking my dog for a walk. I also went on holiday for the first time in years.
“Saturday Kitchen was on air for four years before I took it over – now I’ve passed that baton on.”
James – who is even more handsome and personable in the flesh than on TV – has many a finger in many a pie.
Books, events and This Morning
There’s his restaurant in Manchester, plus he’s planning to open a second in Hampshire in November, he’s the face of Asda supermarkets, a star turn at the Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival in Skipton on July 31 and is, of course, intermittently hosting This Morning. He now has a couple of episodes under his belt and seems at home in the This Morningstudio but to begin with, he was nervous.
- Find out about James Martin's passion for France
James talk about his mum
“I sometimes get criticised for mentioning my mother too much but she and the rest of my family inspire me,” smiles James. “Mum always says, ‘If you can’t buy it north of Watford, don’t talk about it on your TV show and don’t do anything too fancy,’ and I don’t. What’s the point of featuring recipes that include ingredients most people can’t easily get hold of? I try to cook simple grub for normal people but when I’m at home, Mum does all the cooking as I create too much mess. She won’t let me near her kitchen – she’s got a new cooker and thinks I’ll wreck the stovetop as I shake the pans so much!”
James, who’s happily dating but prefers to keep his personal life private, says that if he had to choose his last supper, it would definitely be one of Mum’s.
“Sunday lunch. Mum does the best roast dinner with proper gravy, no fancy stuff, and roast potatoes that are better than mine. I’m a farmer’s kid so I’d have lamb, pork, chicken and beef!"
Saturday Morning with James Martin
An added update for fans of James - it seems that he's come to eat his words! The chef is coming back to TV with a new ITV series called Saturday Morning with James Martin. We can't wait to see him back on our screens - Saturdays weren't the same without him.
- For more star chat, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine
Did you know...?
- James' family were farmers for Castle Howard in north Yorkshire
- He struggled at school due to undiagnosed dyslexia
- At the age of 22, James set up the Hotel du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef
- He first appeared on television in 1996 with programmes including James Martin: Yorkshire's Finest, Ready Steady Cook and The Big Breakfast
- In 2005, James was partnered with Camilla Dallerup in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing. The couple finished the show in fourth place
- His most popular online recipes are for Yorkshire pudding and chicken curry
- His popular books have included Home Comforts and James Martin's French Adventure
- He's also hard at work on a series called James Martin's American Adventure
- James has two dogs named Fudge and Ralph
- James recently revealed he has a girlfriend PA Louise Davies who he kept a secret for five years - but the pair aren't currently married