Saturday Kitchen: Matt Tebbutt jokes about the director

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Saturday Kitchen star Matt Tebbutt, 47, has spoken about taking over the favourite BBC weekend show from former presenter James Martin, 48. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the chef spoke about embracing the role in 2017 while facing “an army of fans”, who were dedicated to James after he presented the show for over a decade.

Of course I was kind of a little bit nervous as he has an army of dedicated fans

Matt Tebbutt

Addressing the Saturday Kitchen takeover, the star candidly admitted that he faced pre-filming nerves.

Matt said: “I was quite nervous about it, it wasn’t without trepidation.

“Of course I was kind of a little bit nervous as he has an army of dedicated fans,” he said, referring to James’ loyal fanbase.

However, the acclaimed chef didn’t let his nerves get the best of him and enthusiastically accepted the presenting role.

He continued: “But, you know, when the offer comes in, what do you do?

“You don’t do it because you’re nervous? Or you do it to the best of your ability and if people like it then great, if they don’t, well so be it and if the BBC didn’t like it then I wouldn’t last long,” he laughed.

The chef went on to reveal that he took a straightforward approach to fronting the weekend cooking show.

“So you just do it, get on with it and be yourself”, he added.

“I’m not an actor, I can’t do that [act], a lot of people are and they can behave one way on screen and off the next, but that’s not me.

“So you just have to get on with it and fortunately when you feel comfortable with the crew and you feel comfortable with the team around you that’s hopefully what resonates on screen,” Matt explained.

When asked whether he has any communication with the Michelin star chef, Matt revealed that the pair are both busy with their own shows.

“I haven’t seen him in years,” he admitted.

Matt went on to explain: “He [James] does his thing on ITV, he’s got his social circle and it just happens he doesn’t cross with mine.

“We’ve all got our own little circles we mix in, but they don’t cross,” he clarified.

The Yorkshire born chef fronted the favourite weekend cooking show for ten years from 2006 to 2016, before making the decision to leave the BBC.

Two years after his exit, James told ITV’s Loose Women panel that he made the decision to quit the show after witnessing a man drop dead in front of him.

Speaking about his work-life balance, the chef told the women about the incident which caused him to shift his mindset.

He said: “I was doing a gig abroad and I was chatting to a gentleman the same age as me, same work ethic, really keen on work.

“He went out on stage literally five minutes after I spoke to him to present an award and he was dead before he hit the floor,” James explained.

He continued to tell the panel: “I got back on the plane and thought now I’m going to readdress the balance.”

Matt will be appearing at ultimate foodie festival Pub in the Park at Dulwich Park on June 25-27, alongside Monica Galetti, Atul Kochhar and more.

The festival will feature stunning pubs and restaurants from the UK’s best loved chefs as well as a selection of live music.

Visit here for more information and to book tickets.

Saturday Kitchen airs today at 10am on BBC One.

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