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James Martin, 47, admits giving up on marriage and kids is ‘the biggest low of his career’

His impressive resume has included three restaurants, one Michelin star, a ten-year spell as host of Saturday Kitchen and one fourth placed finish on Strictly Come Dancing. 

But while James Martin can look back on a hugely successful career, he admits that forfeiting the chance to settle down and raise a family will remain one of his biggest regrets. 

Speaking to the May issue of Prima,  the 47-year old Yorkshireman reveled his complete dedication to work outweighed the desire to take the conventional path of marriage and children.  

Regret: While James Martin can look back on a hugely successful career, he admits that forfeiting the chance to settle down and raise a family will remain one of his biggest regrets 

He said: ‘The biggest low of my career is that I’ve given up everything for it. I look at my mates and they’re all married with kids, and that’s not the case for me because I’ve been so focused on work. 

‘The level of commitment it requires and the choices you have to make have a huge impact. But would I do the same thing again? Probably, because it’s made me who I am. And why does everybody have to follow the norm anyway?’ 

The celebrated chef has been hosting lifestyle show Saturday Morning with James Martin from his home since 2017, launching almost a year after he walked away from long-running BBC staple Saturday Kitchen. 

Committed: Speaking to the latest edition of Prima, the 47-year old Yorkshireman reveled his complete dedication to work outweighed the desire to take the conventional path of marriage and children

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Read all about it: The full interview is available in Prima’s May issue, on sale 3rd April

But James insists he has no regrets about quitting the show that helped turn him into a household name in 2016, ten-years after making his first appearance in the studio kitchen. 

‘Leaving the show has been beneficial to me and to everyone around me, because I’m healthier, both mentally and physically,’ he explained. 

‘I might be busier than ever, but now I can have time with my dogs, time at home, where we record James Martin’s Saturday Morning, and I can decide what to do and when. 

‘That puts you in a much better place in your head, and in life. In many ways, it feels like I’ve got my life back.’  

Reflecting on his quality of life, James admits he has managed by adopting a mantra that he has stuck with throughout his life, particularly regarding his own health and wellbeing. 

Dedication: ‘The biggest low of my career is that I’ve given up everything for it. I look at my mates and they’re all married with kids, and that’s not the case for me because I’ve been so focused on work,’ he said

He said: ‘I live by the motto “believe in what you believe in” and I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for that. It hasn’t always been easy. 

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‘I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to do a wellness show or a health cookbook where I stand on the scales and six months later I’ve lost five stone. They all say, “You’re the prime candidate.” Er, thanks! 

‘But the truth is, if I stopped eating butter and using cream and cut out all the good stuff, I’d be miserable – and I wouldn’t believe in what I was doing. It’s not who I am or who I’ve ever been.’  

Moving on: The celebrated chef has been hosting lifestyle show Saturday Morning with James Martin from his home since 2017, launching almost a year after he walked away from long-running BBC staple Saturday Kitchen 

While his stellar career has at times been bittersweet, he concedes it has also given him opportunities and experiences that will stat with him for the rest of his life. 

Recalling one such moment, James admits he was left stunned after Her Majesty The Queen requested a private meeting with him following afternoon lunch at Buckingham Palace – and revealed herself as a fan.  

He recalled: ‘I’ve had some incredibly surreal moments in my career – but being invited to lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace tops them all. 

Positives: While his stellar career has at times been bittersweet, he concedes it has also given him opportunities and experiences that will stat with him for the rest of his life

‘We were served duck, fresh strawberries and the most incredible pineapple dessert. I actually still have the menu framed in my toilet at home! I couldn’t resist asking for a little tour of the kitchen while I was there. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s just like a big commercial kitchen, with a very impressive line-up of cooks. And I have to say, the pans are pretty fancy! 

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‘Before I got up to leave that day, I got a tap on the shoulder from the Queen’s equerry. He said, “The Queen feels she hasn’t had a full discussion with you over lunch, she’d like to have a chat with you in the drawing room.” I could hardly believe it. 

‘She sat there in front of me just like my gran would do – and she knew absolutely everything about me! She’s the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.’’   

Old times: James became a household name on Saturday Kitchen, the show he hosted from 2006 to 2016

And James admits even The Queen would have approved after he single handedly stopped a street robbery while shopping in central London recently.   

He said: ‘The other day, I was standing in a queue at a cashpoint in Oxford Street when, all of a sudden, someone pushed an elderly man out of the way and went to grab his money from the machine. 

‘I managed to grab the culprit and the police were called. People say, “You can’t do that because of who you are.” Well b*****ks to that!’

Read the full interview in Prima’s May issue, on sale 3rd April. 

 

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