James Martin set side of house on fire in horror BBQ accident

James Martin
-Credit: (Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

James Martin, the beloved TV chef known for his stint on BBC's Saturday Kitchen, has shared a rather explosive anecdote about a barbecue gone wrong that sent chops soaring "about 20-30 feet in the air".

The culinary star of ITV's Saturday Morning, James also admitted to a fiery fiasco at his own abode, involving an accidental house blaze sparked by a barbecue mishap.

Chatting on the Grilling podcast with fellow foodie and celebrity chef Simon Rimmer in 2021, James dished out his hair-raising tale when asked if he'd ever had any barbecue disasters.

Recounting the fiery incident at his residence, the ex-BBC host explained it was all down to a pizza oven roof that should have been metal but was mistakenly made of wood. He humorously noted that his dad's barbecue calamity topped them all, though.

James divulged: "I set my side of my house on fire. That was a good one because... I mean, I love builders and particularly... a certain group of Irish builders, who are fantastic, that decided to build an Italian pizza oven roof."

James Martin
James Martin isn't shy of exposing his 'cooking disasters' -Credit:Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

"Instead of having metal, (they) built it out of wood, which is quite handy. And I think the best one of all was my dad... we're DIY people. My dad was hopeless at DIY."

He continued with a chuckle: "He built himself a barbecue back home at the house, on the farmhouse, and it was basically four like concrete blocks on one side, four concrete blocks on the other one... and we had some York stone."

James shared a rather explosive anecdote about the time when a "massive" stone required eight people to move it, leading to a barbecue disaster at his home.

He reminisced: "Next minute, there was an almighty bang. It was like, honestly, it was (a) huge explosion, and you get bits of lamb chops, pork chops, sausages flying over the top of this house. It was massive."

"There was an air gap in the brickwork, and it basically overheated and exploded - the whole thing - with my dad stood next to it. The image that I've got is just chops going about 20-30 feet in the air. It was hilarious."

James Martin
James' dad found the incident 'funny' -Credit:Marco Secchi/Getty Images For Infiniti UK

Simon found the whole situation "funny" but didn't shy away from admitting that it could have been an "absolute disaster", a sentiment James agreed with, noting it "could have been".

Despite the chaos, James and his father didn't let their culinary enthusiasm wane, quickly salvaging the fallen snacks.

James is no stranger to kitchen mishaps; he once memorably muddled his words on live TV while hosting a 2012 episode of Saturday Kitchen Live.

The host stumbled over his script as he tried to introduce a segment, resulting in a humorous gaffe that left his friend and fellow chef Rick Stein unable to contain his laughter.

James recounted the moment, saying: "And for some reason, I just got all my words mixed up. What it was supposed to say was, 'what a delicious looking dish, Rick; now I'm going to do spotted dick and custard, and now I'm going to show you what to do'."

"What I said was, 'what a delicious looking d**k, Rick', and before I even got the apology out, they're laughing in my ear. I've got the BBC laughing in one ear, producers wetting themselves."