James Martin (chef)

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James Martin
Martin at the Good Food Show winter 2014
James Martin

(1972-06-30) 30 June 1972 (age 51)
Years active1996–present
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 where he helped his mother in the kitchen, igniting his interest in cuisine. He lived in Welburn, UK, where he attended Amotherby School in Malton and later on, Malton School.[2]


Early career[edit]

James Martin trained at Hostellerie De Plaisance, Saint-Émilion, France,[3] and from there, spent two years as a Pastry Chef at Chewton Glen Hotel[4] in the South of England.


He first appeared on television in 1996 on 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.[5]

In September 2011, James was tasked with revamping the menu and catering facilities at Scarborough General Hospital, for Operation Hospital Food for the BBC.[6] The show was recommissioned for a second[7] and third series [8] which were shown on BBC One in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

In June 2013, The Roux Scholarship was shown on Watch. Martin joined the judging panel along with fellow celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Raymond Blanc and Angela Hartnett.[9]

In July 2013,[10] 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,[11] 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 October 2014, James presented a new daytime show for BBC One called Meet the Street which 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.[12]

In 2015, while attending the BBC Good Food Middle East Awards in Dubai, Martin witnessed the death of magazine boss, Dominic De Sousa whom he had been speaking with, just moments before the tabloid mogul stood up and suffered a fatal heart attack. This event had an effect on Martin and had a part in him later deciding to leave '"Saturday Kitchen.[13]

In February and March 2016 Martin toured his first live show around the UK entitled 'Plates, mates and automobiles'.[12]

Since September 2017, Martin has presented Saturday Morning with James Martin, a Saturday morning cookery show for ITV.[14]


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.[15][16]


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.[17]

In 2012 he opened a restaurant inside The Talbot Hotel, Malton, North Yorkshire. The restaurant won a Michelin star 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". Martin left The Talbot in February 2015.[18][19]

In September 2013 Martin opened his restaurant James Martin Manchester, specialising in modern British cuisine.[20]

There are branches of James Martin Kitchen bakery and cafe located airside at Stansted and Glasgow airports, and at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station.[21]

Cookery School[edit]

James teaches at The Kitchen – Cookery School at Chewton Glen, a cookery school and relaxed dining restaurant in New Milton, Hampshire.[22]


September 2021, Martin launched a range of premium French wines which are produced in the village of Névian near Narbonne in the Corbières region.[23]

Allegations of bullying[edit]

There have been numerous reports of bullying behaviour by Martin towards members of production team staff. In 2018 he was reported to have had a temper tantrum after a drain became blocked whilst filming a cooking show at his home. In July 2023, further reports surfaced of bullying towards production colleagues, resulting in several being reduced to tears by his behaviour. Martin stated "lessons have been learned".[24][25][26] On 28 July 2023, Martin released a statement saying that he had been suffering from facial cancer at the time of the 2018 incident and has needed regular surgery.[27]

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, Martin gained a private pilot licence and then later on he qualified as a helicopter pilot.[28]

Martin has been in a relationship with his long-term girlfriend, TV producer Louise Davies, since 2011. Martin met Davies on Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?[29]

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.[30] In 2015 he was named ‘TV Personality of the Year’ at the Fortnum & Mason Awards.[31] James was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers at the International Cheese Awards 2016.[32]

In 2021, Martin was again voted ‘TV Personality of the Year’ at the Fortnum & Mason Awards.[33] On 6 September 2021, Martin's Saturday Morning scooped Best Food Show at the TV Choice Awards.[34] In November 2021, Martin won 'Most Influential Chef, Cook or Food Writer' award, and also 'Best Cookbook', for 'Great British Adventure: A celebration of Great British food' at the Great British Food Awards.[35]


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[36] Presenter 1 series
2016 This Morning Guest presenter ITV
James Martin's Christmas with Friends[37] Presenter 2 episodes Food Network
2017 James Martin's French Adventure Presenter 1 series ITV
2017— Saturday Morning with James Martin[38] Presenter 1 series
2018 Walks with My Dog Co-presenter 1 episode More4
James Martin's American Adventure[39] Presenter 1 series ITV
2019 James Martin's Great British Adventure Presenter 1 series
James Martin's Sunday Selection[40] Presenter 1 series
2020 James Martin's Islands To Highlands Presenter 1 series[41]
James Martin’s Christmas Day Presenter Christmas special[42]
2023 James Martin's Spanish Adventure Presenter 1 series[43]


  • The Deli Cookbook ISBN 978-1840002119
  • James Martin's Delicious!: The Deli Cookbook ISBN 978-1840006261
  • Easy British Food ISBN 978-1840009774
  • James Martin Desserts ISBN 978-1844004638
  • 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
  • The Saturday Kitchen Cookbook ISBN 978-1846072239
  • 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
  • Sweet ISBN 978-1849495578
  • More Home Comforts ISBN 978-1849497916
  • Slow Cooking ISBN 978-1787131019
  • James Martin's French Adventure ISBN 978-1849499545
  • James Martin's American Adventure ISBN 978-1787131538
  • James Martin's Great British Adventure ISBN 978-1787133747
  • James Martin's Islands To Highlands ISBN 978-1787135253
  • James Martin's Complete Home Comforts ISBN 978-1787136519
  • Butter ISBN 978-1787138223
  • Potato ISBN 978-1787139657
  • James Martin's Spanish Adventure ISBN 978-1837831296[44]


  1. ^ Eames, Tom (23 February 2016). "James Martin QUITS Saturday Kitchen after 10 years on BBC One series". Digital Spy.
  2. ^ "James Martin is on the road and heading to Birmingham's Symphony Hall". 13 October 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Hostellerie De Plaisance". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  4. ^ "My mentors". The Guardian. 29 June 2007.
  5. ^ "James Martin to step down from Saturday Kitchen". BBC.
  6. ^ "BBC One - Operation Hospital Food with James Martin - Episode guide". BBC.
  7. ^ Glaberson, Helen (18 February 2013). "James Martin on Operation Hospital Food". Good Housekeeping.
  8. ^ Symons, Jane (28 February 2014). "Saturday Kitchen chef James Martin uncovers the truth about hospital food - Health - Life & Style - Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  9. ^ "The Judges".
  10. ^ Rainey, Sarah (11 July 2013). "The Great British Budget Menu, BBC One, review". Telegraph.co.uk.
  11. ^ Wright, Jonathan (16 September 2013). "TV highlights 16/09/2013". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  12. ^ a b "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.
  13. ^ Hello!, 2 February 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
  14. ^ Lee, Ben (12 May 2017). "James Martin is returning to Saturday morning telly". Digital Spy.
  15. ^ "Martin sorry over cycling article". BBC News Online. 16 September 2009.
  16. ^ "TV Chef James Martin Cooks Up A Storm With Anti-cycling Remarks". BikeRadar. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Alea Leeds Clarence Dock casino to close". Yorkshire Evening Post. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  18. ^ The Talbot Hotel: restaurant review
  19. ^ "James Martin bio" (PDF). pp. 1–5. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  20. ^ Bourne, Dianne (26 September 2013). "James Martin bets on classic food at new Manchester restaurant - Manchester Evening News". men.
  21. ^ "James Martin Kitchen". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  22. ^ "The Kitchen – Cookery School at Chewton Glen". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  23. ^ "TV chef James Martin launches range of wines". thedrinksbusiness.com. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  24. ^ "James Martin issues statement after being accused of 'bullying' ITV colleagues". The Independent. 27 July 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  25. ^ "James Martin agrees 'lessons learned' amid staff accusations". Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  26. ^ "James Martin: TV chef agrees 'lessons learned' after losing temper". BBC News. 26 July 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  27. ^ "James Martin: TV chef reveals cancer diagnosis, after being warned about behaviour". BBC News. 28 July 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  28. ^ "James Martin: The celebrity chef to hit the road in Yorkshire with his new tour". 23 November 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  29. ^ "James Martin reveals why he's ruled out marriage and babies with girlfriend Louise Davies". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  30. ^ "The Craft Guild of Chefs reveals winners of its very special 20th anniversary awards". Craft Guild of Chefs.
  31. ^ "The Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards winners 2015". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Nantwich International Cheese Awards 2016". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  33. ^ "Fortnum & Mason 2021 Food and Drink Award Winners announced". hospitalityandcateringnews.com. 10 September 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  34. ^ "TV Choice Awards 2021". awards.tvchoicemagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  35. ^ "Chef James Martin Scoops Two Reader-Voted Great British Food Award". greatbritishfoodawards.com. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  36. ^ Lee, Ben (11 May 2015). "James Martin to host new BBC One cooking show The Box". Digital Spy.
  37. ^ Read-Dominguez, Jennifer (3 November 2016). "Mary Berry hits the road for James Martin's Xmas show". Digital Spy.
  38. ^ "James Martin Is Returning To Saturday Morning TV". HuffPost UK. 12 May 2017.
  39. ^ "BBC faces ITV cook-off as James Martin preps Saturday Kitchen rival". The Guardian. 12 May 2017.
  40. ^ "James Martin's Sunday Selection - Watch episodes". Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  41. ^ "James Martin's Islands To Highlands". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  42. ^ "James Martin will present Christmas Day cooking show with special guests". Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  43. ^ "James Martin's Spanish Adventure". Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  44. ^ "James Martin's Spanish Adventure". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 27 July 2023.

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