James Martin unafraid to stand up for his opinions after leaving BBC

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James Martin has revealed the reason he left BBC’s Saturday Kitchen in a new interview.

The TV chef, 50, was the face of the live cooking series from 2006 up until his departure in 2016, after which he moved to ITV with his own show.

James said that it was his decision to leave Saturday Kitchen, after considering that it “felt right” at the time.

“Television goes through fashion and trends, you have to evolve and change,” James told Luxury London.

“I’m different to who I was 30 years ago, even to who I was 10 years ago. 30 years in television is a long time when you’ve been told what to do.

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“It was my decision to leave the BBC and the Saturday show — it was a huge show which we built it up — but it comes down to what feels right for you and whether you enjoy it.”

James went on to say it feels important for him to “stand up” for his opinions, and that he has continued to do so, as he’s pushed against trends in the cooking industry in favour of pursuing his own preferences as a chef.

“You should always have your own point of view and don’t be afraid to stand up [for it],” the TV chef continued.

“And that, in terms of the media, can get you into all manner of problems. People at home are not daft. They followed me on that journey for 30 years.

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“It’s tempting to follow trends and write a book on healthy food, but it’s not me. When everybody was writing about healthy food and one-pan wonders, I wrote a book on butter.”

James previously accused the BBC in 2018 of shutting down two presenting jobs for him, due to his “Yorkshire accent”, before he headed to ITV.

The BBC denied the allegations at the time.

Since moving on from the BBC, James has built on his impressive career as a presenter, chef, and restaurateur, opening several eateries across the country, with his latest being The Lyon Arms in the Cotswolds.

Though James admitted that the hospitality industry is “still hard work”, he said it hasn’t dampened his love for food.

The star credits his grandparents for his passion for cooking, as they were farmers.

As a result, James consistently shows his appreciation for those in the farming industry, and insists chefs need to support farmers and local produce.

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