Belfast Telegraph

Ready Steady Cook will return to satisfy viewers' appetites, says James Martin

James Martin has said he thinks popular cookery competition show Ready Steady Cook will make a comeback due to the hunger for food-based TV and because it is too good to disappear.

The former Saturday Kitchen host appeared on the daily programme as a chef during its run on the BBC between 1994 and 2010, which also had a weekend celebrity version.

Martin, who is back on TV with his new food travel series James Martin's French Adventure, said: "I'm sure (Ready Steady Cook) will be coming back.

"It's too good a format for it to disappear in the ether.

"Times will change and things will come round again.

"But when you think that show was everywhere at that particular moment in time, that was all over the place, it was a regular thing in the afternoons every weekday and on Friday and Saturday nights we used to do the celebrity ones, which were massive."

"They're revamping a lot of shows and I'm sure they'll look at that too."

Martin, 44, left his tenure as the host of BBC One's Saturday Kitchen last year after 10 years, and the TV chef is still surprised at the programme's - and his - popularity.

He said: "It's like Saturday Kitchen, what's that, the longest running cookery show ever?

"I did it for 10 years and it has been going on nearly a year now since I've left, and it was on for four years before me, so that's 16 years. It's unbelievable."

Martin said he was surprised by the amount of "fuss" that was caused when he announced his departure from the show, and that he did wonder if he had made the right decision initially.

Unaware of how popular he was as the host until then, he said: "You just turn up and do your job and go back home or to your restaurant.

"There's no reaction, there's none of that and this was almost instant.

"Straight away, I was thinking 'woah, woah, woah, have I made the right decision? Have I done the right thing?'"

He added: "I didn't think there would be any fuss to be honest.

"I'd done it for 10 years, I didn't think there'd be the fuss that there was but little did I know ... it was a shock, to be honest."

As well as presenting for ITV's This Morning throughout last summer and partnering with supermarket chain Asda, Martin spent much of last year after his Saturday Kitchen departure filming his new televised venture in France.

James Martin's French Adventure sees him travelling the length and breadth of the country, where he trained as a chef in his youth, in his culinary hero Keith Floyd's old Citroen 2CV.

Visiting locations such as Provence, Perigord, Burgundy, Alsace and Brittany, Martin cooks up classic French cuisine in the time-honoured honest Floyd style, with one camera and no re-shoots.

Martin said: "I trained there as a young kid, so going back for me was a personal journey as well as the added advantage of doing it in Keith Floyd's car.

"All the cooking was done in one.

"We never did two takes of any of the cooking, so you get all the mistakes and everything into it as well, plus anything that happens round and about because you're on location.

"I'm chuffed to bits with it, it's the best thing I've done in a long time."

:: James Martin's French Adventure airs weekdays at 3pm on ITV from Monday January 30.

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