James Martin claims BBC ‘discriminated’ against him and he lost out on jobs due to his accent

James Martin enjoyed long-term romance with Hollywood icon 12 years his senior

In the end, the American's lifestyle was just too flashy for him

| Updated:

James Martin is a staple on the box, but the popular chef is pretty protective of his private life.

Did you know, before finding love with ex Louise Davies, he had a long-term romance with Hollywood legend Barbara Broccoli, Bond producer no less?

The TV chef met Barbara, 12 years his senior, at a charity auction and the pair “instantly clicked”.

James, 52, went on to date the American Bond heir for almost five years before they eventually called it quits.

James Martin poses in front of some glorious Yorkshire scenery
Telly chef James Martin dated Bond producer Barbara Broccoli for almost five years (Credit: ITV Pictures)

How did James Martin and Barbara Broccoli hit it off?

James – on screen today (July 8) with his Great British Adventure show – first met Barbara, now 64, 20 years ago after he was auctioned off for charity.

He previously wrote for the Mail Online: “Meeting Barbara, daughter of the first Bond producer, ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, was unusual to say the least.

“She ‘won’ me in a charity auction in 2001, when I was 29, paying £18,000 to have me cook a meal at her Chelsea house.”

Six weeks after the auction, James visited Barbara’s lavish London home to cook the meal.

The pair were joined by Barbara’s five friends.

He added: “The evening was hilarious – and we just clicked.”

James Martin once dated Barbara Broccoli
Barbara paid thousands for James to cook for her and her pals (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Read more: Who is James Martin’s girlfriend and why has Saturday Kitchen chef said he will never marry her?

Unfortunately, the couple’s relationship hit the skids after four-and-a-half years.

James later admitted their worlds were just too different.

Speaking in 2008 after the split, James said he would feel starstruck after finding himself in the presence of Hollywood A-listers, such as Bond Girl Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.

He also revealed that Barbara, who has an estimated net worth of $400 million, had showered him with incredible gifts – including three genuine Picassos.

Barbara Broccoli dated TV chef James Martin
Barbara, pictured with Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, mixes in A-list circles (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Read more: Saturday Morning star James Martin reveals how he copes with dyslexia

But when Barbara tried to buy James an £180,000 Aston Martin DBS with the chassis number 007, it all became too much.

“It wasn’t as if it was my birthday or Christmas – it was just a spur of the moment thought,” he wrote.

“In the end I said, ‘If I want something, I’ll work for it. Just drop it or we’re going to fall out over this’.”

The Saturday Morning star added: “It was a defining moment in our relationship. Deep down, I knew there was always going to be an imbalance.”

James Martin and girlfriend Louise Davies
James recently split from TV producer Louise Davies (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Finding love again

In 2008, James questioned whether walking away from Barbara was a ‘daft decision’.

However, within a few years he had found love with TV producer Louise Davies.

The couple met on the set of Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2011. However, they recently split, with James now seeing personal trainer Kim Johnson.

James Martin’s Great British Adventure is on today (July 8) at 2pm on ITV1.

YouTube video player

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.

Natasha Rigler
Freelance Writer

Related Topics