James Martin admits why he didn’t want to do Strictly Come Dancing ‘at all’

James Martin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

James Martin has revealed why he didn’t want to take part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Opening up on his time on Strictly Come Dancing, James Martin told HELLO! that he originally didn’t want to take part in the BBC ballroom dancing competition.

The TV chef took part in the third series of the dancing show back in 2005, partnering up with former Strictly professional dancer Camilla Dallerup who made it to week nine with the star - just missing out on the semi-final stage.

Revealing that at the time he didn’t want to take part in the show, James said, “I didn't want to do it (Strictly), not at all. But it's one of those chef things – if you want to do something and do it well, you've got to throw yourself at it."

Addressing one of the reasons why he wasn’t keen on taking part, James explained, "To be honest with you, the audience frightened me. It's probably easier without the audience.

James Martin

“I remember standing at the top of the staircase, Bruce would go down. You'd be stood there in a line going oh my god, have you heard everybody? The music frightens you anyway. The audience lifts you for sure but it gave me nerves."

However he revealed that his determination and stamina during the competition is what he credits for preparing him for his Saturday morning TV show.

James also revealed that he is still in contact with his professional dancing partner Camilla, adding, "I think she's in LA. She's into healing and reiki now. I'm still in contact with her, all the people who did it when I did.

“Zoe Ball was the same year as me, Darren Gough. That was magical but it was before Blackpool Tower. It was the first year of the Wembley tour."

James also commented on the power of social media, after closing his Twitter account just days ago due to online trolling.

"It's a powerful tool. You've got to learn how to respect it,” he said. “The main thing is my family – I speak to my mum every single day. They're the important things in your life, not what people think."

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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