Galton throws his hat into Saturday Kitchen ring

Galton Blackiston

Galton Blackiston - Credit: Great British Chefs

He's been a guest chef on the show more times than anyone else in the past decade and Galton Blackiston has revealed he would jump at the chance to seize the saucepan from outgoing Saturday Kitchen presenter James Martin.

James Martin is leaving Saturday Kitchen after 10 years at the helm

James Martin is leaving Saturday Kitchen after 10 years at the helm - Credit: BBC/Cactus TV

As Yorkshireman Martin announced he is to leave the ratings-winning BBC show he has presented since 2006, increasing its popularity in that time to three million viewers each week, the Norfolk chef said it offered a mouth-watering opportunity, and would enable him to showcase more of the county's fine produce in the primetime spotlight.

'Of course I would do it,' he said from his Michelin-starred kitchen at Morston Hall in Blakeney. 'I would be mad to turn it down if it was offered to me.

'Would I make a good presenter? I don't know but I have been on as a guest more than any other chef in the past 10 years and I have always enjoyed it, there is always a great buzz.

'I think what James has done has been incredible, especially as it is live. He is great fun and we have some good banter as he is always going on about Yorkshire and I try to promote Norfolk produce. He would be a tough act to follow.'

The BBC said Martin will leave the programme at the end of March, with guest presenters being used from April, although it has not been made clear who they will be, and Mr Blackiston said he had not yet been approached.

'I would definitely throw my hat into the ring to do it,' he said. 'And if Saturday Kitchen come knocking then I would be daft not to. I would be nervously excited, put it that way, but I would want to be given a lot of free rein.'

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Mr Blackiston has his first chance to stake a claim this Saturday when he is back on the show as a guest chef. He will be cooking some Norfolk lamb chops with a chicken and truffle mousse and will be keen to make it a success, and not a repeat of the time he tried to cook a souffle live on air.

'I thought I would be clever and the be first chef to try souffle but it didn't work,' he said.

'I'd love to do the job and it could be a recipe for success, but it could be a recipe for disaster.'

* Do you think Galton Blackiston would be a good successor to James Martin? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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