Inside James Martin’s shock family rift as explosive side of TV chef revealed – including savage swipe at Holly and Phil | The Sun

HE’S known for his grumpy TV chef persona, but it seems James Martin's temper has a tendency to boil over.

The former Saturday Kitchen host today apologised for “any offence or upset caused” after he was accused of “bullying”by his ITV colleagues.

An employee, described as “his closest colleague”, complained following the filming of his next cookery show, James Martin’s Spanish Adventure, which followed a 2018 incident on his Saturday Morning show. 

It’s been alleged that James reduced members of the crew on his upcoming show to tears in front of their colleagues, and then changed schedules that would have only given them a few hours of sleep. 

It was then claimed he turned up late, despite being the one who changed the schedule.

James’ production company, Blue Marlin Television, said “lessons have been learned” – but it’s not the first time the butter-loving chef has come under fire for his behaviour, as we reveal…


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Bitter family fall out

In 2008 James fell out with his father after he made scathing remarks about his former step-mum Sarah Beth Briggs in the original version of his autobiography, Driven.

He wrote Sarah was “the ugliest woman he had ever met” and accused her of burning every ounce of his childhood, including baby pictures. 

After the book was serialised in the Mail on Sunday, prior to the book’s release, James apologised to his dad's ex-wife and the original edition was withdrawn from shelves.

A statement at the time read: "Mr Martin accepts it was untrue to say his father's then-girlfriend cruelly destroyed childhood mementos of him and his sister.”

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James fell out with his father and former step-mum due to his autobiographyCredit: Rex

James has since described the autobiography as his “biggest regret” and confessed he and his father won’t ever make up as they’re both “too stubborn”.

He told The Sun: “The only good thing from it was the realisation I would never speak to my father again.

“I've accepted he will never be a part of my life. I spent 12 years trying to get on with him. You never knew what was around the corner. 

“It was always something like getting divorced or remarried, or a new woman. It was just relentless.

"I thought, 'I've had enough of this. I'm just going to separate completely'."

Holly and Phil swipe

James is often accused of being “grumpy” by This Morning viewers, having snapped at his co-hosts on more than one occasion.

The most memorable time he lost his cool was in November 2020, while making a soup.

Unfortunately James didn't fix the lid on his blender securely and the soup went flying everywhere.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield couldn’t control their giggles, but James wasn’t happy.

He said: “This is what happens when I’ve got a director in my ear telling me I’ve got seven minutes, now I’ve got six minutes, now I’ve got five minutes.

“Now I’ve got one minute apparently!”

Phil didn’t make things any better when James brought out a soup he’d made earlier.

He said: “In the top of this soup that I’ve pretty much eaten, there was like a brown skid mark.”

A furious James snapped back: “Do you know I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning to come here?”

James admitted on Loose Women that the reason for his bad moods on This Morning are due to the fact the early starts aren’t easy, especially on mornings after he's worked late in his restaurant.

He added of Phil and Holly: “Some of the questions they ask you are random.”

BBC dig

Before moving to ITV in 2017, James presented Saturday Kitchen Live on the BBC for over a decade.

However, a year after leaving the channel, he took a swipe at the BBC, claiming he was turned down for two presenting jobs because of his Yorkshire accent.

Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2018, he said: “I can’t say what jobs they were, but it was before I moved to ITV.

“It happened more than two years ago. I know because they told me [it was because of my accent].”

James said the issue wasn’t the reason he left the programme to front ITV’s rival show Saturday Morning however.

He added: “That’s not the reason I left. But you’d be wrong if you said they don’t discriminate against people because of their accents.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC has a huge variety of presenters with different accents and from different backgrounds.

"The fact that James presented Saturday Kitchen, Home Comforts, Kitchen Invaders, Stately Suppers, Operation Meet the Street, Operation Hospital Food, Ready Steady Cook, The Box, The Real Italian Job and appeared in numerous others shows for the BBC shows that we have no problem with his accent.”

'Tense' rivalry

In 2017, it was claimed James and Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood were at war over fame.

Ainsley Harriott – who is pals with both – said that, as Paul's star began to rise, James got whisked into a rivalry with him.

He told the Mirror: “Paul has come through and been phenomenal. His style is very different.

"They’re both brilliant cooks – but with James there is a little bit of tension there.”

'Totally useless'

In 2017, James got annoyed on Saturday Morning, when a member of his production crew handed him a "totally useless" potato peeler.

The kitchen equipment, which featured a green handle adorned with a plastic spud, seemed to do the job just fine.

But, mid-recipe, James suddenly raged: "Look at this! This is what the crew give me to peel a potato with.

“It’s totally useless! You get an old one – look! I know it looks amazing but look at it – it’s pointless!”

Social media storm

James has found himself at the centre of a social media storm many times, and even took a break from it in October 2020 when he was bombarded with abuse after a live cookalong went wrong.

After technical difficulties disrupted his sold-out online show, which was supposed to allow fans to cook three courses with him at home, customers who paid £35 a ticket complained about the feed freezing and their computer connections being interrupted.

James apologised for the technical problems after the show, telling fans he had seen their comments and "the anger towards me" but insisted he wasn't personally responsible for computer issues.

The star tweeted: "Due to the large amount of vile comments posted directly towards me, this will be my last post as I will be taking a break from posting personally and all social media for the foreseeable future."

He returned to social media just over a month later.

Piers Morgan spat

Back in February 2021, James took a swipe at Piers Morgan when his former Good Morning Britain co-host Charlotte Hawkins was on his Saturday Morning show.

Introducing her to viewers, James said: "Together, we will be serving up plate after plate of delicious food for one of the stars of Good Morning Britain. 

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“But before you go and change the channels, do not worry. It is not Piers Morgan.”

Piers took to Twitter to snap back: "Ho ho ho, Jimmy boy. Let us see who has the last laugh, sunshine. Because I tell you what's cooking… You! You're what is cooking, son."

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