HomeArts & EntertainmentTV & ShowbizTV chef James Martin accused of ‘bullying’ ITV colleagues

TV chef James Martin accused of ‘bullying’ ITV colleagues

TV chef James Martin has been accused of “bullying” his ITV colleagues.

The British star has reportedly been spoken to by the channel following a complaint from an employee described as “his closest colleague” that was registered in May.

This complaint came after the filming of his next cookery show James Martin’s Spanish Adventure and, according to Deadline, it’s the second one to follow an incident that occurred in 2018. Martin’s production company, Blue Marlin Television, has acknowledged the complaints, saying “lessons have been learned”.

It’s been alleged that Martin reduced members of the new ITV special’s crew to tears in front of their fellow employees, and then changed schedules that would have only given them a few hours of sleep. Martin is then claimed to have shown up late despite being the one to change the schedule.

A producer who regularly works with Martin said: “What’s remarkable is I saw this behaviour on every project I did with him and it feels conscious. I think he just feels like it’s OK to behave like that.”

The first complaint, which was made in 2018, came after the chef allegedly grew angry with a member of staff after his drain became blocked while filming an episode of James Martin’s Saturday Morning at his home. Those who work on this show said that Martin has been “repeatedly” accused of “inappropriate, intimidating and bullying behaviour”.

In response to the two allegations, Blue Marlin Television told Deadline: “An unfortunate incident occurred after filming James Martin’s Saturday Morning in 2018 where James’s home was badly damaged. Blue Marlin accepted responsibility. James was shocked by what had happened and on reflection acknowledges he responded emotionally, which he wholly regrets. James apologises for any offence or upset caused, as he did at the time to the crew involved.

“Following this and some issues filming James Martin’s Spanish Adventure, James and Blue Marlin Television agree that lessons have been learned which have been discussed with members of the team and with ITV. Blue Marlin Television and James Martin have taken on board ITV’s recommendations and their sharing of best practice, and are in the process of fully implementing.”

However, the company denied to The Independent that there was “major damage” to his house. The statement continued: “Since the 2018 incident, Blue Marlin Television has continued to film over 500 shows at James’ home. Blue Marlin Television remains committed to ensuring the welfare of all those with whom they work is of the utmost priority.”

Meanwhile, ITV said in response to The Independent: “Following a complaint we received in May from members of the Blue Marlin production team about the filming of James Martin’s Spanish Adventure, we contacted Blue Marlin to discuss these concerns and to understand how the issues raised were being addressed and what actions were being taken. As a result, we made a number of recommendations for Blue Marlin to implement as soon as possible, sharing best practice of some of our own relevant procedures around staff welfare and reiterating our Supplier Code of Conduct.”

(Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

It continued: “At ITV people and their welfare are our highest priority. The production companies who make shows for us have primary responsibility for the duty of care of everyone they work with, both on and off screen. We make clear our expectations in this regard as part of our pre-greenlight duty of care processes. This includes having appropriate independent controls in place to enable everyone who works on their shows to confidently and confidentially raise concerns.

The Independent has contacted Martin for additional comment.

This controversy comes shortly after ITV vowed, during a parliamentary hearing following the Phillip Schofield controversy, that it had a “zero tolerance” guidelines when bullying and harassment was concerned.

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