Wednesday, September 16, 2009

James Martin Forced To Eat Humble Pie


By 'eck. That bloooody James Martin has slammed a hornets’ nest into a hedge and they’re all now after his sticky Parkin cake.

All I can say is it couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow.

The anger at the plump pudding chef’s boasts about causing a group of cyclists "sheer terror" as he test drove a Tesla sports car has been fast and furious.

And to make it worse for Martin’s PR people – not to say Tesla’s who are trying to distance themselves from the row – it looks like boiling on for a while.

Normally what happens is the crass, brain-dead celebrity is told to issue a grovelling apology (he has) and the matter quickly blows over.

Trouble is it doesn’t work if the star is an arrogant, overpaid twat, as happened with Gordon Ramsay during his bust-up Down Under.

Martin is even less popular. He isn’t even liked by his team at BBC One's Saturday Kitchen. Insiders tell me he is always asking for big pay rises, and sulks when he doesn’t get them. He keeps storming into offices, whining about how he is the star of the show, and it wouldn’t get any viewers without him.

How many deranged, menopausal women can there be in Yorkshire? I’m sure most of the viewers are people with such bad hangovers that they’ve forgotten they’ve even switched on the TV.

Occasionally, they risk a squint at the screen and spot a cheesy-faced owl with a Ralph Lauren curtain draped over his paunch giving yet another recipe for Yorkshire pudding, or a handy tip on how to cook kippers in a jug of boiling water.

Martin clearly knows even less about presenting than he does about cooking (what sort of credentials do you get for having been “trained” in one of Antony Worrall Thompson’s kitchens...) And he should be grateful if licence fee-payers pay him more than a fiver a show.

In fact, I hope the Beeb is soon pressurised into having to come clean on how much its “stars” are paid, because when people see how much gobshites like Martin pocket each week, they might start voting with the remote control. Or even better key one of his sports cars, as many cyclists are threatening to do.

Indeed, I think the BBC better start scratching around for another northern cook to appeal to its Yorkshire demographic because the 37-year-old won’t easily get away with this one.

Campaign group the Cyclists' Touring Club has been inundated with complaints from angry members. An anti-James Martin site on Facebook, and a thread called ‘#jamesmartinisacock’ on Twitter are attracting thousands of comments from angry people.

And to make matters worse, Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins weighed in to give him a kick-in on his Twitter site. “Meal suggestion for this Saturday Kitchen for James Martin, Spotted DICK!” he writes, and: “Hey James Martin, How about COCK au vin this Saturday.”

Someone even attacked his Wikipedia entry, beginning his biography with “Martin grew up on a coal barge, where he was assistant bell-end.”

The TV cook became a figure of hate when he took the ill-judged decision to write a reactionary, Jeremy Clarkson-esque piece for the Mail on Sunday. It’s quite easy really, pick a subject you know will appeal to the Top Gear crowd...speed cameras, traffic humps, lorry drivers, pensioners in the fast lane etc and then write a piece called something like “Why I Bloody Hate Caravans”.

In Martin’s case, he or probably someone who wrote it for him, begins: "God I hate those cyclists. Every herbal tea-drinking, Harriet Harman-voting one of them. That's one of the reasons I live in the countryside, where birds tweet, horses roam, pigs grunt and Lycra-clad buttocks are miles away.”

Then he spots the group dressed in "fluorescent Spider-Man outfits, shades, bum bags and stupid cleated shoes".

"Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the bird song - and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists.

"Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split-second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed."

He added: "The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror."

Martin now says in a statement on his website: “It was never my intention to offend the many cyclists who share our roads across the country. What was intended to be a humorous piece was clearly misjudged. Further more I do not condone any form of reckless driving.

“Once again, I am sincerely sorry for any upset caused in relation to this article.”

Trouble is people aren’t stupid, it wasn’t a flippant remark or a drunken misquote. He’d presumably written the remarks in crayon and subs had checked the copy. Even the Mail themselves have now removed the offending paragraphs about seeing cyclists buried in the hedge.

And even if the BBC press office publicly torches Martin’s sports cars, dresses him in lycra and makes him cycle to the studios each day with “I’m green and clean” tattooed on his forehead, he won’t get out of this one.

And if he does, he’ll have more jam than he sticks in his fucking cakes.

:: This blog eventually became a bestselling book, called Down And Out In Padstow And London by Alex Watts, about my disastrous attempt to train as a chef, including stints at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck and Rick Stein's kitchens in Padstow. You might like it if you're a foodie or have ever entertained the ridiculous idea of entering the padded asylum of professional cooking. It's here on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book if you want a read...

17 comments:

Trev said...

ouch! very amusing

Andrew said...

It is utterly false that this was written for him by his PR luvvies, in an attempt to revive his hitherto dismal sales and viewing statistics. Nor was it ever intended to be an alignment with Jeremy Clarkson's spotlight.

The critics should all just shut-up and remember that he has made this country what it is, with his wit and culinary skills. He has even gifted Britain with the ultimate in culinary secrets, 'The Cuisina by James Martin Hob' (with accompanying range of matching professional cookware, as used at the Worrall Thompson school of good restaurant management).

The masses who serve him have simply misunderstood his superior wit and cleverness.

If the plebeians continue with this unfair attack against James, James has decided to punish them by limiting his show broadcasts and cookware range sales to the island of Lundy.

You have been warned....

P.S. He is on first name terms with Gordon and Mandie...warned.

Nicky said...

The bloke has proven himself an eejit time and time again, this is just the icing on the cake. Why doesn't the Beeb rid themselves of this utter plonker once and for all?

Lennie Nash said...

Dear Andrew,

Quite right, I'd forgotten about what you quite rightly describe as the ultimate in culinary secrets, 'The Cuisina by James Martin Hob'.

Perhaps if the pleb attacks continue he may also limit the number of food festivals he attends, say to just 200 a year?

Are there cyclists on Lundy Island? I hope so.

Thanks for writing,

Lennie

Lennie Nash said...

Dear Nicky,

I wonder if the Beeb will...

I was watching the Floyd re-runs last night on one of the food channels, and in the middle of the brilliance, they showed a programme (the title escapes me) about James Martin driving round Britain in a monstrous camper van while stuffing his face with seasonal fayre.

The comparison between Floyd and Martin was chasm-like. Why can't the BBC find talent like that anymore?

All the best,

Lennie

Melinda said...

I take great umbrage at your crude remarks regarding deranged and menopausal women. Whatever harm have they done to you?
Yours Sincerely,
President of the Deranged and Menopausal Woman's Club

(P.S. You are a hoot!)

Grobelaar said...

You'd think when AWT tried to get them over a barrel and Saturday Kitchen marched on with James Martin, while AWT's jump-ship ill-fated Saturday Cooks on ITV fell flatter than a Masterchef the Professional's souffle that they'd have learnt that no one gives a shit who presents Saturday Kitchen. Martin is awful - still making the same stupid blunders he did three years ago and staring at the cameras with his cold, clammy rapey eyes...

Of course I'm saying this, they'll probably sack him and replace him with Tim Lovejoy, in the utterly misguided belief that he can cook too.

Andrew said...

Wouldn't it be more degrading for him if it were called the "James Martin Sucks Cock" Campaign?

theundergroundrestaurant said...

As I said on Twitter...I'm attracted to him, but then I fancied John Lesley!

Another member of the deranged but premenopausal club!

Anonymous said...

I thought the comments very amusing and, some parts, quite truthful.

However, the last sentence of the comments is totally not called for and really out of order, IMHO. To wish anyone dead is truly awful and I think you spoilt a well written item by such a wicked sentence.

Rad Wagon said...

Popular Myths Unravelled

1. Cyclists don't pay for the roads.

Cyclists do pay for the roads. They don't pay Vehicle Emissions Tax (the old Road Tax), but that doesn't pay for road building. Road-building is funded out of general taxation. We all pay that, in our income tax, in our council tax, and in VAT.

Cyclists don't cause anything like as much damage to the roads. So the more cars taken off them replaced by bicycles, the less it'll cost in taxes.

2. Cyclists are badly behaved on the roads, so they deserve it.

Actually it's a small minority of cyclists who behave badly. Most do exactly the same as motorists and follow the rules of the road. It's just that the badly behaved ones are very much more visible.

Also, just resorting to the age old flippant remark "well you mow down pedestrians, so we should be allowed to mow down cyclists" belies any kind of rationality. Of course neither should happen. I don't condone cyclists doing damage to pedestrians, or crossing red lights for that matter.

Regular testing for all road users may well be a good idea. I'm sure most cyclists would like this idea. I'm not sure how many motorists would when a good proportion loose their license very quickly.

3. We've provided cycle lanes, you should be forced to use them.

The quality of cycle lanes in this country is frankly appalling. Whilst cycling at 5mph may be possible on most, any higher speed is likely to meet with grief. Would you like to be limited to going at 20mph on a A-road in a car?

Many cycle lanes are shared pedestrian use. Looking out for pedestrians making weird and wonderful changes in direction is something worth avoiding at all costs. Then there's the quality of workmanship. Plants growing through, surfaces that would make a car wheel fall off, and lampposts in the middle are all hazards that push many cyclists onto the road.

4. Cyclists should be in the gutter so that cars can drive past them unimpeded.

Actually cyclists are at least 2 foot wide. They cannot ride down the very side of the road or they'd be falling off their bikes into traffic every 20 yards with the rough mess that's strewn there. Effectively, they do take up about half a width of a lane.

Short of fairly wide roads, and there aren't many of those, cars have to pull out of their lane to pass them. This means if traffic is coming the other way, slowing down for a few seconds, then passing. Note, this is a few seconds, not half an hour. If you're doing 60mph, be completely in the other lane or your wind will take them out as well. So, share the road, like you're meant to.

5. And as far as a lack of humour, or needing to get a life, or thinking this is unimportant is concerned, or being "PC gone mad".

Scan through the pages of the accident reported in the papers. Go tell the families of injured or killed cyclists that this article is funny.

As far as getting a life is concerned, that's exactly what cyclists want to keep hold of. Every day we get threatened by 1-ton lumps of metal driven by people who don't really seem to be in control of them. Staying alive and healthy isn't "PC gone mad".

Most importantly, when a driver decides to publish his joy for driving badly causing potential injury & death to others, it encourages others that it's acceptable behaviour. That's what is so wrong in this case. It simply cannot be taken as just a joke.

Lennie Nash said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your comments. I thought long and hard about what you said, and I think you're right. The last line was rather spiteful and unneccessary and I've taken it out.

Cheers,

Lennie

Lennie Nash said...

Dear Rad Wagon,

Thank you for your brilliantly argued points about cyclists. I'm forwarding them on to Mr Martin as we speak.

Keep on riding!

Lennie

Food Urchin said...

"assistant bell-end" hahaha oh that is just classic, wish I had thought that one up!

Great post.

maggiedon said...

Speaking as a slightly deranged, menopausal woman, can I just say that James Martin has about as much sex appeal as a plate of raw unbleached tripe? In fact, there are striking similarities between the two.

He is truly appalling on Saturday Kitchen, ignoring seasonal cooking and producing dishes that nobody is ever going to attempt at home. The fecking omelette challenge should be buried deeper than a spent nuclear reactor rod (preferably up JM's jacksie). His presenting style is a disgrace - a chimpanzee with dyslexia and ADD could read the autocue with more accuracy and panache than he does. The ONLY thing worth watching on the show are the snippets from Stein, The Two Fat Ladies (being role models of mine - careful, menopausal remember?!) and, of course, the late, great, marvellous, wonderful and magnificent Keith Floyd, who should be posthumously Knighted.

Keep blogging Lennie - fantastic, poignant, frequently hilarious - you are the Anthony Bourdin of British Restaurants

Frank said...

If you delve into it I think you may find that Martin is related to that other well known "assistant bell-end" Clarkson . If not then they should be .

Anonymous said...

James Martin is in my opinion very fanciable .
That said, the main draw & attraction for us as a family ,to go to The ( now defunct ) Leeds Kitchen ...set within a Casino in a shopping thoroughfare ....
We duly chose our food ,which arrived promptly by a smart waiter , my Son & Sister both had ordered Duck to start , what was not made clear was , When the Menu stated Duck , they didn't actually mean Duck . They meant Duck shavings ..we counted them & there were 5 .
On a bed of Mixed leaves .
My Husband & myself had ordered Asparagus Tips ,& a poached Quail egg ....which stated it would take 20 minutes to perfect .
The Quail egg was raw , & the Asparagus was so over cooked it was hysterically funny .
We approached the waiter who did not see our comments as a viable complaint .
We were given bread .
The Mains came , I can only remember my own Main. , unfortunately , I had ordered the ' hung for 38 days' Steak Chips. With a side salad
The Steak arrived , I did have to ask the waiter , what exactly ! What it was ? Incrediously this disgusting looking thing on my plate was the Steak ...it looked & I indeed suspect it was actually Olde Neck End .....hung for quite a considerable length of time ....
It was inedible . The waiter allowed me to eat my 4 oblong chips & the 5 mixed leaves of salad .
He then removed the price of the Steak from our Bill .
We were given bread .
We had moderate success with puddings ,we were all so hungry , we ate them without so much of a murmur .
We requested the Bill . Even with the removal of my Steak , the amount came to £ 170.00 ,
Very expensive Bread ........ !
Never again Mr Martin , no wonder you live such a wonderful life style. I'm quite certain mugs like us have helped tremendously x. The date by the way was
1st September 2012 .just incase someone would like to back check x. Gillian Merrill & Family .