James Martin claims BBC ‘discriminated’ against him and he lost out on jobs due to his accent
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James Martin on BBC ‘discriminating’ against him and losing out on jobs due to his accent

And this wasn't long ago...

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Viewers love former BBC star chef James Martin not only for his exquisite cooking skills but for his lovely smile, cheeky charm and friendly Yorkshire accent. 

However, it seems not everyone is a fan of how James presents himself on screen.

BBC ‘discriminated’ against James Martin’s accent

Back in 2018, North Yorkshire-born James accused the BBC of discrimination after revealing he was refused jobs presenting on the channel because producers disliked his Northern accent.

He said: ‘I didn’t get two jobs from the BBC because of my accent, ‘I can’t say what jobs they were, but it was before I moved to ITV. I know because they told me [it was because of my accent].’

James, 49, denies the discrimination led to him quitting his BBC Saturday Kitchen show in 2016 after a decade at the helm.

But he did say: “You’d be wrong if you said they don’t discriminate against people because of their accents.”

James Martin claims BBC ‘discriminated’ against him and he lost out on jobs due to his accent
James in the early days of Saturday Kitchen on The BBC. (Credit: BBC)

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At the time, a spokesman for the BBC refuted any discrimination, stating: “The BBC has a huge variety of presenters with different accents and from different backgrounds.”

However, it is a debate that continues to rage on not only at the BBC but across the UK.

Only last week, Fiona Hill, a former US presidential advisor, told BBC News there is “geographic inequality” in the UK, and in the USA she is only judged as being British because they “didn’t know what the accent meant”.

And Steph’s Packed Lunch host Steph McGovern, a former BBC News presenter, previously spoke out over her belief that her ‘northern accent‘ made her ‘too common for telly’ in the eyes of senior management.

James Martin’s move to ITV

Thankfully for his fans, James joined ITV in 2017, and his show James Martin’s Saturday Morning has been delighting viewers ever since. 

James Martin saturday morning
James at the helm of Saturday Morning on ITV (Credit: ITV)

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And away from his successful TV career, James is a chef who never seems to stop working.

He owns a chain of restaurants, including one at the swanky New Forest resort Chewton Glen. He’s published over 20 best-selling cookbooks.

And, earlier this month he announced he had joined the rebranded high street baked potato chain SpudULike to design their new menu.

This week on Saturday Morning, James will be cooking chicken and tasting sticky toffee pudding with The Script frontman Danny O’Donoghue.

James Martin’s Saturday Morning airs Saturdays, ITV, 9.30am.

What do you think of James Martin and his northern accent? Let us know on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.