TV chef James Martin forced to defend lack of social distancing on 'Saturday Morning Show'

Danny Thompson
Contributor

Saturday Morning Show host James Martin has responded after fans were critical when he and guests appeared to fail to adhere to the government’s social distancing rules put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The show aired in its usual slot on Saturday but viewers were unimpressed at the apparent cavalier approach Martin and his guests took to ensuring their safety and preventing the spread of the deadly virus by keeping a distance of two metres.

The celebrity chef shook hands with guest and fellow cook Nick Nairn and was sat very close to second guest, Coronation Street star Beverley Callard.

Read more: Eamonn Holmes defends sitting close to wife Ruth Langsford on 'This Morning'

One viewer said on social media: "Sad to see you guys not listening to the social distancing advice."

Another tweeted: "Does social distancing apply to TV shows? James Martin Saturday morning they’re sitting on each other’s lap."

Chef James Martin Announces first ever live UK tour "Plates, Mates and Automobiles" during a photocall at Percy Mews on October 15, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The 47-year-old chef addressed the matter via a short clip posted on the show’s Twitter account, explaining why they did not appear to be following government guidelines.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

He said: "We wanted to put on a show as normal, this was filmed before the new rules came out so hopefully you enjoy today's show and above all else stay safe and look after yourself."

He added: "Hopefully this will inspire you to get cooking in the kitchen, bye for now."

He added in a tweet from his own account: “We recorded seven shows way back before any of these rules came out and we where due to film this weekend and of course followed all the government advice and stopped and stayed home. Stay safe all.”

Martin isn’t the only TV personality incorrectly called out for not following the government’s social distancing advice.

Last week Eamonn Holmes was forced to defend himself after he sat right next to fellow This Morning host and wife Ruth Langsford while presenting the show.

Read more: James Martin makes pasta for his village amid coronavirus pandemic

As the couple live together, they do not need to stay two metres apart. He said on air: “Don’t bother phoning in and saying, ‘Why are these two together?’

“We are together all day, during the house, we live together. In case a lot of you don’t know this, we actually do. We do live together.”

Langsford jokingly added: “Some people think it’s a fake marriage darling, a TV marriage.”