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James Martin made a great impact with his television debut in November ‘96 and has rarely been off screen since. Currently he is presenter of BBC1’s hugely successful Saturday Kitchen, regularly attracting viewers in excess of 3.5 million. He was a regular face on Ready Steady Cook (BBC2), has hosted many series for UKTV, and in 2006 reached the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1).
In 2008 James featured in prime time special The Real Italian Job (BBC2) where he lived his dream of racing in the exclusive Mille Miglia in Italy in a vintage sports car. With over 3.5 million viewers it cemented James’ role as a car enthusiast and expert. James had great success with three series’ of Operation Hospital Food (BBC1), and as a judge on series 2 of Junior Bake Off. His most recent work includes James Martin’s Food Map of Britain (BBC2), and Operation Meet the Street (BBC1) in 2014, the second series of Home Comforts, and his new series The Box (BBC1) in 2015.
James is the author of 15 best-selling and award winning cookbooks, as well as his autobiography ‘Driven’/em> (HarperCollins). His latest title ‘Home Comforts’ was published by Quadrille in December 2014 to accompany the BBC TV series, and his new book, ‘Sweet’, was published 8th October 2015.
James’ career began at Castle Howard where his father ran the catering and James often helped out. He was Student of the Year for three years running at Scarborough Technical College, and at the tender age of 22, he opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef, where he changed the menu every day. In 2012 James opened his second restaurant inside the newly refurbished hotel, The Talbot, in Malton, North Yorkshire, where he spent all of his childhood. The restaurant was placed in the Michelin Guide in 2012 with James stepping down in January 2015 after 3 years. James Martin Manchester opened in September 2013 inside the Manchester235 Casino, and his latest venture is James Martin Kitchen which opened in March 2015 at Stansted airport.
In 2013 James was honoured with ‘The Craft Guild of Chefs Special Award’ for outstanding contribution to the industry. His series Food Map of Britain won ‘Best Daytime and Early Peak programme’ by the Royal Television Society in March 2014, and in 2015 he was named TV Personality of the Year at the Fortnum & Mason Awards.
A keen journalist, James has had a weekly column in the Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine on cars and motoring, as well as food columns for BBC Good Food Magazine and Sky magazine. He makes regular appearances around the world including BBC Good Food show, Good Food & Wine Show South Africa, and Gourmet Abu Dhabi to name a few.
James’ licensing endeavours include a range of small electricals with Wahl Cookware, knives and kitchen textiles with Stellar/Horwoods and serverware with Denby. James has also launched his own range of bread and cake mixes and hampers. He was a consultant with P&O Cruises on the restaurants and menus for their Ocean Village cruise ships for many years and in March 2015 he is launching The Cookery Club master classes on board the new ship Britannia. He is also currently consultant to Thomas Cook, creating in-flight meals for the airline.
James is passionate about celebrating British food, using the best ingredients possible and creating simple, delicious recipes accessible to all. When not busy pursuing his love of food, James spends his time driving his collection of vintage cars and flying around the country with his newly acquired pilot’s license.