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Saturday Kitchen host James Martin steps down after 10 years

image copyrightPA
image captionJames Martin will leave the weekend show in March

TV chef James Martin is stepping down as host of BBC One show Saturday Kitchen after 10 years.

He will leave the programme at the end of March, with guest presenters being used from April.

Martin said he was looking forward to working on new projects - and having a lie-in on Saturday mornings.

BBC Daytime controller Dan McGolpin thanked Martin and said it was "an exciting opportunity" to have new chefs presenting the show.

'Amazing journey'

Martin said: "I would like to personally thank all the viewers for turning Saturday Kitchen into a three million-plus smash hit.

"I could not have done it without them. I would also like to thank the BBC and Saturday Kitchen for the great opportunity they gave me.

"It has been an amazing journey and I have been privileged to work with some of the world's greatest chefs and some of the greatest names in showbiz. I wish the new chefs every success.

"I am looking forward to getting stuck into my new projects and to lots of lie-ins on a Saturday morning."

He also tweeted the announcement, saying it had been a "great pleasure" to work on Saturday Kitchen.

image copyrightBBC/Cactus TV
image captionMartin started hosting the show in 2006

The show sees Martin ask celebrity guests for their 'food heaven' and 'food hell' - to have one of the dishes, voted for by viewers, cooked at the end of the programme.

It also sees chefs compete against each other in the omelette challenge - creating a three-egg omelette in the fastest time.

Martin took over from Antony Worrall Thompson as host when he joined the show in 2006.

McGolpin said: "On behalf of our viewers, I'd like to thank James for the last 10 years in which he has given up his Saturday mornings and more to help make Saturday Kitchen into the much loved institution that it is today.

"James works extremely hard, not just on TV but across all of the other things that he does, I can understand his decision to concentrate on other things and I think we'll see him back on the BBC before long."

He said the show would "continue to ease millions of viewers into their weekends".

Martin will still be seen on Saturday Kitchen Best Bites, which airs on BBC Two on Sunday mornings.

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