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James Martin rose to prominence as a television personality and chef on various shows such as Ready, Steady Cook. The ITV favourite has now opened up about his decision to leave the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen in 2016 after 15 years on the programme.
The 48-year-old revealed his mum issued him with a stark warning as he talked about his growing fame.
James explained that he doesn’t view himself as a famous person as the television personality and chef detailed his “love of food and cooking”.
“I do the best job in the world. I get paid to cook on television,” he explained to radio host and pal Chris Evans.
“Now, I also get paid to cook in a restaurant but I love what I do. I’m still cooking.
“The food to me is so important that whenever I serve you in my restaurant it’s the same as what I serve on television.”
He added: “It’s never changed. That ethos has never, ever changed.”
James revealed his mum told him he didn’t “have a clue” that the trajectory of his career was about to change.
“The fame side – you know, the pinch me moment – even all the way through Strictly Come Dancing, I didn’t get it,” the TV chef commented.
“I didn’t understand until I turned around and said, ‘I’m leaving Saturday Kitchen.'”
James continued: “My mum said, ‘You haven’t got a clue, what’s about to happen.’
“I said to her, ‘Don’t be so ridiculous. It’ll be fine.’ Then, boom!”
The small-screen star revealed to Chris on his podcast How To Wow, that he realised he had become popular with viewers when he had a sold-out show at Hammersmith Apollo theatre just weeks after his BBC exit.
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James recalled: “I remember speaking to you as well and straight off the back of that I was asked to do a theatre tour.
“We sold something like 200,000 tickets in about a week or two.
“I walked out on stage – it must have been no more than three weeks after I left Saturday Kitchen – and the first night was 4,000 [people] or something like that.”
He added: “I was the only chef to sell out the Hammersmith Apollo. The only one.”
Chris chuckled: “Other people have tried.”
James previously addressed his decision to depart Saturday Kitchen, as he admitted he was forced to reevaluate his life.
He told the Loose Women panel: “I’ve readdressed the balance, I didn’t have it for 15 years when I had too much television.
“Work was [a] fundamental [reason], I hadn’t had a day off for several years, or two days off together for nearly three years.”
James Martin’s Saturday Morning airs today on ITV at 9.25am.
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