A news story in ‘The Sun’ on Monday (June 13) claims ‘Saturday Kitchen Live’ has lost one million viewers since James Martin left the show.
The daily national newspaper said that the popular BBC1 cookery programme has seen viewing figure plummet since the celebrity chef, who fronted the show for a decade, quit in February.
James hosted ‘Saturday Kitchen Live’ from 2006 to 2016. The show has since been taken over by guest presenters including Michel Roux Jnr, Lorraine Pascale and The Hairy Bikers.
‘The Sun’ claimed almost half of viewers have abandoned the show since James’ departure in March. It said: “The programme has lost nearly half its audience in just three months as viewers decided it wasn’t worth watching without their favourite foodie at the helm.
An insider told ‘The Sun’: “Viewers loved James and the show is really struggling without him. People don’t like change and without a regular presenter fans are beginning to lose interest. The guest chefs aren’t working as well as bosses had hoped.”
The BBC has released this statement in response: “’The Sun’ has cooked up a turkey of a story about our ‘Saturday Kitchen Live’ ratings. We have not lost half our viewers since James Martin left, as the paper claims.
“When compared to the same period last year, the average audience has remained relatively stable – currently 1.4m (21% share) compared to 1.5m (22% share) last year. Audiences for the recent shows have been as high as 1.7 million.
“’The Sun’ is comparing James’s final show – which, for a much-loved presenter of 10 years, was unsurprisingly high – to our ongoing figures. This is a recipe for overcooked reporting.”