For those of you who have been living under a rock, James Martin has decided that, after a wonderful decade of hosting Saturday Kitchen, he will be hanging up his apron and moving on to pastures greener.
Under his watchful eye, the show grew and grew, until it was regularly raking in over two million viewers for every episode – whoever takes over has some rather large shoes to fill. In light of the hunt for his replacement, we decided to join the guessing game, and put forward a few contenders we’d like to see on our screens on a Saturday morning.
After a quick look online, it became apparent that we’re not the only ones championing Ainsley as the new Saturday Kitchen host. Many fell in love with this larger-than-live personality when he was presenting Ready Steady Cook; a position that he held for ten years. Since then Ainsley has appeared regularly on the small screen, from his own programmes like Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food and as a presenter on the Great British Food Revival, to contending on Strictly Come Dancing. His appearance on the latter made it evident that the kitchen is more Ainsley’s domain than the ballroom – maybe the BBC bigwigs agree?
If this were solely a popularity contest, Gino would probably be the winner. This cheeky chap has garnered quite the following from appearances on panel shows such as Celebrity Juice, and he was even named King of the Jungle on season nine of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! When not proving himself a great entertainer, Gino has been keeping himself busy with a number of cookery programmes including Let’s Do Lunch, This Morning and most recently Gino’s Italian Escape. Maybe an Italian infusion is exactly what Saturday Kitchen needs?
Si King and Dave Myers – The Hairy Bikers
If, like us, you’ve been watching Saturday Kitchen for many a year, you’ll no doubt have spotted this northern duo on the show on more than one occasion. These chefs, in fact, frequent the show more than any other. Maybe we’ll be seeing even more of them on a Saturday morning? The duo keep busy the rest of the time with comedic cooking shows like The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, The Hairy Dieters and The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation – they’re busy boys. Like Ainsley Harriott, Dave Myers has also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing – perhaps cheffing and ballroom dancing are more intertwined than we once thought.
Did you know that Gregg Wallace was the original host for Saturday Kitchen, back in 2002? The show was a little different back then, though we wouldn’t object to Gregg once again whipping up a storm on a Saturday morning in flared jeans and a polo neck. Since presenting the inaugural season, Gregg has been judging and co-presenting Masterchef and all of its spin-offs, and writing for numerous food magazines. He’s also been on Strictly Come Dancing. I’m sensing something of a pattern forming….
Although Tom may be a bit of an underdog according to the internet’s predictions, that isn’t the case here at F&D. In addition to being a bit of a heartthrob (no? just us?) Tom has accrued plenty of accolades over his career, including being the owner of the first pub to hold two Michelin stars. He’s appeared on Saturday Kitchen a handful of times over the years, and has presented Spring Kitchen with Tom Kerridge, in addition to being a judge on Great British Menu every year since he competed.
Although our weekly dose of James Martin is disappearing, it doesn’t mean he’s gone for good. He’s currently on tour with his cooking demonstration Plates, Mates & Automobiles, and he has a new book out too, More Home Comforts. If you’d like to see James in action, or would like a new cookbook for your shelf, we’re giving both away! One lucky winner will receive a copy of James’ book, in addition to a pair of tickets to one of the Good Food Shows. Four runners up will also receive a pair of tickets.
Winners may choose to redeem their tickets at any of the following shows:
- ExCeL London 20-22 May
- NEC Birmingham 16-19 June
- Hampton Court Palace 27-29 August
- Belfast Waterfront 14-16 October
- SECC Glasgow 4-6 November
- Olympia London 11-13 November
- NEC Birmingham 24-27 November
To be in with a chance of winning, simply head over to the Food Festival Finder Facebook page and comment on the competition thread, tagging the person you’d take with you to the show.
Alternatively, check out our instagram and once again tag the lucky friend or family member you’d want to accompany you in the comments of one of the competition pictures. Simples!