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James Martin (chef)

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James Martin
James Martin at the Good Food Show Winter 2014.jpg
Martin at the Good Food Show winter 2014
James Martin

(1972-06-30) 30 June 1972 (age 47)
Years active1996–present
EmployerITV (currently)
BBC (formerly)
TelevisionSaturday Kitchen (2006–2016)
Operation Hospital Food (2011–2014)
Junior Bake Off (2013)
James Martin: Home Comforts (2014–2016)
This Morning (2016)
James Martin's French Adventure (2017)
Saturday Morning with James Martin (2017–)
James Martin's American Adventure (2018)
WebsiteOfficial website

James Martin (born 30 June 1972) is a British chef and television presenter, best known for his television work with the BBC and ITV.

Martin presented the BBC cookery series Saturday Kitchen from 2006 until 2016, before leaving the BBC.[1]

More recently, Martin has presented James Martin's French Adventure (2017), Saturday Morning with James Martin (2017–present) and James Martin's American Adventure (2018) for ITV.

Early life[edit]

Martin's family were farmers on the Castle Howard estate and he helped his mother in the kitchen, which started his interest in cuisine, he lived in Welburn, attended Amotherby School in Malton and Malton School.


Early career[edit]

Martin studied catering at Scarborough Technical College, he trained at Hostellerie De Plaisance, Saint-Émilion, France. He then worked at the 3 Michelin star restaurant Maison Troisgros in Roanne, France before moving on to join the staff of Anthony Worrall Thompson's 'One Ninety Queen's Gate' restaurant in Kensington, London.

Martin subsequently moved on to Alastair Little in Soho, London, 2 Michelin star restaurant The Square in Mayfair, London and another 2 Michelin star restaurant, Harvey’s, in Wandsworth, London.[citation needed]

After this he spent two years as a Pastry Chef at Chewton Glen Hotel.[2]

At the age of 22, Martin 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 (set in various Yorkshire locations with an emphasis on Yorkshire cuisine), Ready Steady Cook and The Big Breakfast.

Martin co-presented BBC Food's Stately Suppers with Alistair Appleton, and then appeared on the Channel 4 programme Richard & Judy, where he would visit a member of the public in their own home who had been nominated to be cooked a 'comfort food' meal. From 2006 until 2016, he was the presenter of the BBC One show Saturday Kitchen.[3]

In 2007, he starred in a BBC Two series named Sweet Baby James (named in reference to the James Taylor song) in which he focused on desserts, puddings and cakes.[4]

Martin appeared on Blue Peter in April 2007 on Can You Cook It? as a judge choosing the new Blue Peter "Junior Chef".[5]

In June and July 2007, he appeared co-hosting The Great British Village Show on BBC One, he finished off the year with a series on UKTV Food called James Martin's Christmas Feasts.[6] He filmed a 30 part series for the BBC in 2007 called Eating with the Enemy which was broadcast in July and August 2008.[7]

In September 2011, James was tasked with revamping the menu and catering facilities at Scarborough General Hospital, for Operation Hospital Food for the BBC;[8] the show was recommissioned for a second[9] and third series [10] which were shown on BBC One in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

In December 2012,[11] James presented Racing Legends: Sir Jackie Stewart, a one-off special on BBC Two. Martin interviewed Sir Jackie Stewart, about his life and career whilst the pair drove through the Alps in a De Tomaso Pantera supercar, he also drove his Tyrrell Formula One car around the Monza race circuit.[12]

In February and March 2013 Martin presented United Cakes of America; the fifteen episode series saw Martin travel 634 miles along America's East Coast, sampling 234 cakes and five bags of pretzels.[13]

In June 2013, The Roux Scholarship was shown on Watch. Martin joined the judging panel along with other celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Raymond Blanc and Angela Hartnett.[14]

In July 2013,[15] Martin appeared alongside Angela Hartnett and Richard Corrigan on BBC One on a special edition of The Great British Menu entitled The Great British Budget Menu; the show aimed to highlight food poverty and involved the chefs cooking nutritious meals on a budget.

In September 2013,[16] the programme James Martin's Food Map of Britain aired on BBC Two. There were 10 episodes with each focusing on a different region of Britain. James investigated the produce of each area and cooked two dishes per episode. Since 2013, he has been a judge on Junior Bake Off on the CBBC channel.

In February 2014,[17] based in his kitchen at home in Hampshire, he presented a series called James Martin: Home Comforts on BBC One. Many of the dishes were inspired by memories of his childhood in Yorkshire, and the programme also featured many local small-scale food producers and cooks.

In October 2014, James presented a new daytime show for BBC One called Meet the Street; the show aimed to unite communities and reduce loneliness. In 2015, he guest presented numerous episodes of The One Show with Alex Jones. In 2015, Martin presented The Box, a daytime cookery series for BBC One.[18]

In 2015, while attending the BBC Good Food Middle East Awards in Dubai, Martin witnessed the death of magazine boss, Dominic De Sousa, he had been just moments before Chatting to De Sousa, and then witnessed him getting up and suffering a fatal heart attack. This event had an effect on Martin and had a part in him later deciding to leave '"Saturday Kitchen.[19]

In February and March 2016 Martin toured his first live show around the UK entitled 'Plates, mates and automobiles'.[20]

In April 2016, Martin guest presented an episode of This Morning with Ruth Langsford, he returned to guest present a second episode in July 2016, this time with Holly Willoughby. Throughout the summer of 2016, Martin co-presented This Morning every Friday alongside Anita Rani. Beginning in January 2017, Martin presented his own daytime ITV series called James Martin's French Adventure.

Since September 2017, Martin has presented Saturday Morning with James Martin, a Saturday morning cookery show for ITV.[21]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

In 2005, Martin was partnered with Camilla Dallerup in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing; the couple finished the show in fourth place after being eliminated on 10 December.

Week Dance Scores Result
1 Waltz ("Something Got Me Started") 22 (4,5,6,7) Safe
2 Quickstep ("Luck Be a Lady") 29 (6,7,8,8) Safe
3 Tango ("Mein Herr") 28 (6,7,8,7) Safe
4 Paso Doble ("Romeo and Juliet") 29 (7,8,7,7) Safe
5 Viennese Waltz ("Mr. Bojangles") 29 (5,8,8,8) Safe
6 Jive ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love") 20 (5,4,6,5) Safe
7 Waltz ("Together Again") 32 (7,8,9,8) Safe
8 Samba ("All Night Long") 20 (4,5,6,5) Safe
8 American Smooth ("Call Me Irresponsible") 28 (7,7,7,7) Safe
9 Foxtrot ("Beyond the Sea") 33 (8,8,9,8) Eliminated
9 Rumba ("Home") 22 (4,6,7,5) Eliminated


Until 2013 Martin wrote a motoring column for UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday.

In 2009, Martin wrote in his column that he hated cyclists, and deliberately took pleasure in scaring them by driving an electric Tesla Roadster (2008) in a manner that startled a cycling group, forcing them off the road. Following criticism from cycling groups and professionals such as Bradley Wiggins and Stuart O'Grady, he apologised for the statements. Complaints said that the driving was illegal and dangerous.[22][23][24]


Martin opened his restaurant, called "The Leeds Kitchen", inside the Alea Casino in Leeds in 2011; the casino, and with it the restaurant, closed in March 2013.[25]

In 2012 he opened a restaurant inside The Talbot Hotel, Malton, North Yorkshire; the restaurant was placed in the Michelin Guide at the end of 2012. In June 2013 it was reviewed by food critic Jay Rayner for The Observer who described his meal there as "three beautifully poised, close to faultless dishes".[26]

In September 2013,[27] Martin opened his restaurant James Martin Manchester, specialising in modern British cuisine.

Personal life[edit]

Martin likes performance cars, and entered a 1948 Maserati A6GCS in the 2008 Mille Miglia;[28] this was televised on 28 December 2008. He failed to complete the race due to a dropped valve and broken crank.

Martin raced in the 2013 Masters Series in an Appendix K 1964 Mini Cooper S. On 23 June 2013 he took his first race win at the Brands Hatch Mini Festival, becoming the 2013 Champion of Mini Festival.[29]

Martin also raced a "works" GT Aston Martin at the Aston Martin Centenary Festival in July 2013 where he achieved a position of 9th out of 30 racers.[30]

In 2009, Martin gained a private pilot licence. Martin has two dogs named Cooper and Ralph.[31]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2010, Martin was awarded the title of Honorary Professor by the University of West London, London School of Hospitality and Tourism along with Michel Roux, Raymond Blanc and Anton Mosimann.

On 10 June 2013, Martin was honoured with The Craft Guild of Chefs Special Award.[32]


Year Title Role Notes Channel
2005 Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Finished fourth place BBC One
2006–2016 Saturday Kitchen Presenter
2007 Sweet Baby James Presenter 1 series BBC Two
Blue Peter: Can You Cook It? Judge CBBC
The Great British Village Show Presenter 1 series BBC One
James Martin's Christmas Feasts Presenter 1 series UKTV Food
2008 Eating with the Enemy Presenter 1 series BBC Two
2011–2014 Operation Hospital Food Presenter 3 series BBC One
2012 Racing Legends: Jackie Stewart Presenter One-off episode BBC Two
2013 United Cakes of America Presenter Good Food
The Roux Scholarship Judge Watch
The Great British Budget Menu Presenter One-off episode BBC One
James Martin's Food Map of Britain Presenter 1 series BBC Two
Junior Bake Off Judge 1 series CBBC
2014–2016 James Martin: Home Comforts Presenter 4 series (inc. Christmas series) BBC Two
2014 Operation Meet the Street Presenter 1 series BBC One
2015 The One Show Guest presenter 3 episodes
The Box[33] Presenter 1 series
2016 This Morning Guest presenter ITV
James Martin's Christmas with Friends[34] Presenter 2 episodes Food Network
2017 James Martin's French Adventure Presenter 1 series ITV
2017— Saturday Morning with James Martin[35] Presenter 1 series
2018 Walks with My Dog Co-presenter 1 episode More4
James Martin's American Adventure[36] Presenter 1 series ITV
2019 James Martin's Great British Adventure Presenter 1 series ITV
2019 James Martin's Sunday Selection[37] Presenter 1 series ITV (TV network)


  • The Deli Cookbook ISBN 978-1840002119
  • James Martin's Delicious!: The Deli Cookbook ISBN 978-1840006261
  • Easy British Food ISBN 978-1840009774
  • James Martin's Great British Winter Cookbook ISBN 978-1845330408
  • Eating In With James Martin ISBN 978-0753715802
  • The Great British Village Show Cookbook ISBN 978-1405333177
  • James Every Day: The Essential Collection ISBN 978-1845334888
  • James Martin - The Collection ISBN 978-1845334604
  • James Martin's Great British Dinners ISBN 978-0753715819
  • Driven: Cooking in the Fast Lane - My Story ISBN 978-0007294671
  • James Martin - Desserts ISBN 978-1844004638
  • My Kitchen ISBN 978-0007294718
  • Masterclass: Make Your Home Cooking Easier ISBN 978-0007294725
  • James Martin Easy Everyday: The Essential Collection ISBN 978-1845336677
  • Slow Cooking: Mouthwatering Recipes with Minimum Effort ISBN 978-1849491235
  • Fast Cooking: Really Exciting Recipes in 20 Minutes ISBN 978-1849493185
  • Home Comforts ISBN 978-1849494724


  1. ^ Eames, Tom (23 February 2016). "James Martin QUITS Saturday Kitchen after 10 years on BBC One series". Digital Spy.
  2. ^ "My mentors". the Guardian.
  3. ^ "BBC - James Martin to step down from Saturday Kitchen - Media Centre". Cite web requires |website= (help)
  4. ^ "BBC Two - Sweet Baby James". BBC.
  5. ^ "Can you cook it?". BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2009. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  6. ^
  7. ^ "BBC Two - Eating with the Enemy - Next on". BBC.
  8. ^ "BBC One - Operation Hospital Food with James Martin - Episode guide". BBC.
  9. ^ "James Martin talks Operation Hospital Food - Good Housekeeping". Cite web requires |website= (help)
  10. ^ Symons, Jane. "Saturday Kitchen chef James Martin uncovers the truth about hospital food - Health - Life & Style - Daily Express". Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  11. ^ "BBC Two - Racing Legends, Series 1 - Episode guide". BBC.
  12. ^ "BBC Two - Racing Legends, Series 1, Jackie Stewart". BBC.
  13. ^ "James Martin's United Cakes of America". 5 June 2015. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  14. ^ "The Judges". Cite web requires |website= (help)
  15. ^ Rainey, Sarah (11 July 2013). "The Great British Budget Menu, BBC One, review".
  16. ^ Wright, Jonathan. "TV highlights 16/09/2013". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  17. ^ "BBC Two - James Martin: Home Comforts, Series 1 - Next on". BBC.
  18. ^ "JAMES Martin talks about his forthcoming 'Plates, Mates and Automobiles' tour which he is bringing to his home county of Yorkshire". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  19. ^ Hello!, February 02, 2017 - James Martin reveals personal life sacrifices as celebrity chef: 'It made relationships tough'
    Saturday Kitchen's James Martin has opened up about life as a celebrity chef - Sharnaz Shahid
  20. ^ "JAMES Martin talks about his forthcoming 'Plates, Mates and Automobiles' tour which he is bringing to his home county of Yorkshire". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Martin sorry over cycling article". BBC News Online. 16 September 2009.
  23. ^ "TV Chef James Martin Cooks Up A Storm With Anti-cycling Remarks". BikeRadar. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2013. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  24. ^ Martin, James (12 September 2009). "The Tesla Roadster is the all-electric supercar that's as fast as a Ferrari". London: Daily Mail. Cite news requires |newspaper= (help) (The Daily Mail website does not show the text in question.)
  25. ^ "Alea Leeds Clarence Dock casino to close". Yorkshire Evening Post. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  26. ^ The Talbot Hotel: restaurant review
  27. ^ Bourne, Dianne (26 September 2013). "James Martin bets on classic food at new Manchester restaurant - Manchester Evening News". men.
  28. ^ "BBC Two - The Real Italian Job: James Martin's Mille Miglia". BBC. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  29. ^ JAMES MARTIN IS THE CHAMPION OF MINI FESTIVAL 2013 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Race reports and results - Aston Martin Challenge website
  31. ^ Belsey, John. "Classic Cars à la Carte – the Chef's Selection – by John Belsey". The Vintage Magazine; the Vintage Magazine. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  32. ^ "The Craft Guild of Chefs reveals winners of its very special 20th anniversary awards". Cite web requires |website= (help)
  33. ^ Lee, Ben (11 May 2015). "James Martin to host new BBC One cooking show The Box". Digital Spy.
  34. ^ Mary Berry hits the road in amazing pictures for James Martin's Christmas show
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "James Martin's Sunday Selection - Watch episodes". Retrieved 19 May 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)

External links[edit]