ITV's James Martin admits to sleeping in camper van over 'fears it will all end'

James Martin
-Credit: (Image: Eric Catarina/Getty Images)

Celebrity chef James Martin confessed he occasionally resorted to sleeping in a camper van due to fears his career might abruptly end, maintaining this diligent work practice for many years.

In a 2021 episode of the Grilling podcast with Simon Rimmer, Martin candidly spoke about his time spent working on BBC Good Food Shows and one of his earliest encounters with Rimmer at the NEC.

He referred to it as an exceptional period of time, albeit staying at what he described as the worst hotel globally. Yet Simon fondly recalled from those times, James' unparalleled professionalism and habitual early morning commutes from his camper van.

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Simon probed further about Martin's unwavering work ethic, saying: "You've never lost that. You were always known as being the guy that would like... you'd roll up in your camper van, you'd sleep in your camper van at times, and you'd do the show, and you've never stopped working.

"Still now, you still don't. Is that because of a love for it, or is it also... are you slightly insecure that you worry about it ending? ", reports the Mirror.

To which James responded: "Several things... I worry about it ending for sure, not that I'm pressed about it now as much as I was. But I still care more than I did before, if that makes sense? ".

"Because when I do This Morning, none of the home economists can understand why I'm in there at five o'clock in the morning. They don't understand."

He remarked that he would be punctual, arriving at the designated time to "for them to open up" so he could prepare "every single dish" for ex-This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Earlier on, Simon had noted that James was in a spot where he could have taken it easy, "kicked back a little bit" if he had "wanted to", and might even have let success get to his head, becoming "become a little bit arrogant" and not putting as much effort into his cooking demonstrations.

Nonetheless, James, formerly of BBC's Saturday Kitchen fame, showed a "work ethos" that truly lived up to the saying, "You don't get owt for nowt", Simon reflected.

James also reminisced about his days at the NEC, recalling how he would party till the wee hours, then dash back to his hotel for a swift shower, don his chef whites, and head straight to work.

In another part of the podcast, James recounted a comical mishap where he accidentally set fire to the side of his house due to a barbecue blunder involving an Italian pizza oven roof that should have been metal but was constructed with wood instead.

He further shared an anecdote about his father, who managed to blow up a barbecue, sending chops soaring "20-30 feet in the air". However, showcasing his undying love for food, James and his dad promptly rescued the airborne edibles from the ground.

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