BBC's James Martin recalled moment he set his house on fire in barbecue mishap

james martin
-Credit: (Image: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Beloved television chef, James Martin, who is well known for his time on Saturday Kitchen on BBC, has woven a lively tale about a barbecue that went horribly awry.

The mishap ended up leaving astray chops flying "about 20-30 feet in the air." The culinary sensation from ITV's Saturday Morning, also confessed to a blazing disaster at his own home, triggered by a barbecue blunder that resulted in an unintended fire at his house.

While chatting on the Grilling podcast with celebrity chef and food aficionado Simon Rimmer in 2021, James served up his sensational narrative when queried if he had ever encountered any barbecue mishaps.

Recounting the fiery episode at his dwelling, the former BBC presenter elucidated that it was all due to a pizza oven roof which ought to have been metal but was mistakenly made of wood. However, amusingly, he remarked that the barbecue catastrophe created by his father takes the cake.

James disclosed: "I set my side of my house on fire. That was a good one because... I mean, I love builders and particularly... a certain group of Irish builders, who are fantastic, that decided to build an Italian pizza oven roof.", reports OK!.

"Instead of having metal, (they) built it out of wood, which is quite handy. And I think the best one of all was my dad... we're DIY people. My dad was hopeless at DIY."

To continue with the story, he said laughingly: "He built himself a barbecue back home at the house, on the farmhouse, and it was basically four like concrete blocks on one side, four concrete blocks on the other one... and we had some York stone."

James regaled listeners with a lively tale about a time when an oversized rock, which needed eight people to move, led to a barbecue calamity at his home.

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He reminisced: "Next minute, there was an almighty bang. It was like, honestly, it was (a) huge explosion, and you get bits of lamb chops, pork chops, sausages flying over the top of this house. It was massive.

"There was an air gap in the brickwork, and it basically overheated and exploded - the whole thing - with my dad stood next to it. The image that I've got is just chops going about 20-30 feet in the air. It was hilarious."

Simon found the entire ordeal "funny" but conceded that it could have easily been an "absolute disaster", a notion echoed by James mentioning it "could have been". Nevertheless, amid the commotion, James and his father managed to recover the toppled food items quickly.

James isn't new to kitchen blunders; during a live TV broadcast in 2012, while presenting Saturday Kitchen Live, James amusingly misspoke. Attempting to lead into a segment, the host tripped over his words leading to a comedic error which left his mate and fellow chef, Rick Stein, struggling to hold back his laughter.

Looking back on the moment, James said: "And for some reason, I just got all my words mixed up. What it was supposed to say was, 'what a delicious looking dish, Rick; now I'm going to do spotted dick and custard, and now I'm going to show you what to do'.

"What I said was, 'what a delicious looking d**k, Rick', and before I even got the apology out, they're laughing in my ear. I've got the BBC laughing in one ear, producers wetting themselves."

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