After decades in the game, James Martin has become a TV cooking legend. His culinary career has enabled him to flourish in the world of TV, providing us with exotic recipes from the comfort of our own homes. His popularity is self-evident: two of the UK’s biggest broadcasters – the BBC and ITV – both snapped up the chef for their flagship cooking programmes.
The BBC’s Saturday Kitchen became James’ home for ten years, and he eventually left in 2016.
No more than a year later, in 2017, ITV grabbed James and gave him his own prime time show, Saturday Morning with James Martin.
He’s not been restricted to live cookery shows either.
In 2018, James travelled to the US to film James Martin’s American Adventure.
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There, viewers delighted at his quips and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, all while learning about the various food niches, tips and tricks of the states.
James’ entrance into the world of food was more orthodox than, say, his colleague Rick Stein, who got into cooking through serving freeze-dried curries in a nightclub.
Brought up by a family of farmers, James entered the kitchen at a young age.
A successful few years saw him studying catering at Scarborough Technical College.
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After this, in pursuit of professional training, James travelled to France to learn the cooking trade from the best at the Hostellerie De Plaisance.
Fully qualified, James left his native Yorkshire as a 20-something and travelled to France.
It was here that he worked at the three Michelin star restaurant Maison Troisgros in Roanne.
Returning to the UK, he moved to join Anthony Worrall Thompson’s ‘One Ninety Queen’s Gate’ in Kensington.
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James has become known for his “hard man” style in recent years – his love of motorbikes and classic cars painting him as a leather jacket-wearing petrolhead.
Although he is no Hell’s Angel type by any means, James was once forced to put a mugger in a “headlock” after getting into an altercation on London’s bustling Oxford Street.
He talked about the chilling event during an interview with GQ in 2019.
He explained: “I was 24 years old and walking on Oxford Street.
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“Two people mugged this lady at a cash point.
“I was standing behind this lady, they hit me first and I hit them back and then I sat on one and grabbed hold of the other by the neck in a headlock.
“The police were just around the corner so they came and arrested both of them.”
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Later on in the interview, James revealed the hilarious questions he hates most being asked by journalists.
Not one to mince his words, he said the first was: “‘Do you look as fat as you do on TV?’”
And the second: ‘How quick can you do a f***ing omelette.’”