James Martin hits out at new Strictly stars ‘Seem to be pretty good before they start’

Italian chef hits out at James Martin 'mafia' jibe

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Jame Martin, 49, returns to ITV this morning to continue hosting his cooking show, Saturday Morning. Speaking on a podcast episode, ex-Strictly contestant James Martin hit out at new stars from the dance show, saying they don’t have as much of a “journey” as previous contestants did.

Former Strictly star James was asked about his 2005 experience and “being a bit of a whizz on the dancefloor”.

The 49-year-old said there was “magic” to the show because contestants didn’t have much previous experience when it came to dancing.

When asked if the dance show is as much fun as it appears, the television chef replied: “Back then, it was a journey and people didn’t really know what they were doing.

“I think that was the magic of it.”

He continued, saying that new Strictly stars seem to be quite skilled dancers “before they even start”.

James said: “Nowadays, they seem to be pretty good before they even start, don’t they?”

The host of ITV’s Saturday Morning added: “It was that journey that I think people followed, and I enjoyed it, but you have no control over what the hell’s going on.”

James compared competing in Strictly Come Dancing to being a professional chef, saying: “But the same ethos applies working in a restaurant.

“You just want to be good at it.

“You don’t want to appear an idiot,” he told the Talkshire podcast in February.

He admitted that his Strictly stint caught the attention of BBC bosses and opened doors for him.

James went on to present Saturday Kitchen from 2006 until 2016.

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James also admitted that he became a chef, despite failing his cooking class in school.

He said: “I got a C in art, that was all I got, all I came out with.

“But I came out with a passion for food really.

“I was quite fortunate, I met an amazing guy called Ken Allanson, he was in Pickering.”

He continued: “He was my lecturer at catering college, and he was the one I suppose… There were several moments in your life where they push you in the right direction.

“Not necessarily push you in the right direction but they point you in the right direction.

“He was the lecturer at catering college that certainly pointed me the way that I went.

“For that, I thank him every single day,” James added.

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