The hilarious reason why James Martin bought his dog, Ralph

James Martin

Most of us with pet dogs will have got them from either a breeders or a rescue shelter.

But it seems TV chef James Martin went for a different option when he was on the hunt for a new pooch to bring home.

The 41-year-old recently shared in an interview with the Daily Star that he picked up one of his pet dogs, a six-year-old Lhasa Apso called Ralph, from none other than plush London department store Harrods.

MORE:See inside James Martin's amazing Hampshire country home

However, he also admitted he wasn't quite sober at the time...

James confessed, "I have two dogs – a working cocker spaniel called Cooper and a little Lhasa Apso called Ralph that I bought [bleep] from the pet store at Harrods one lunchtime."

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"It was a boozy working lunch, the day before Saturday Kitchen, and I had been celebrating."

He went on, explaining that he hadn't actually intended to get a dog when he arrived at Harrods.

James said, "I ended up on the top floor of Harrods thinking I was going to buy a new pair of shoes, but I ended up in the wrong department and saw these two little dogs.

"One of them was really looking at me and I thought, 'He’s pretty cool', so I bought him." As you do!

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However, it was likely that James picked up his much loved dog Ralph a few years ago now, as, in 2014, it was announced that the pet store section of Harrods was closing.

The move was welcomed by animal welfare groups, many of whom expressed concerns about puppies and kittens being sold in a shop environment.

At the time, Harrods revealed that the pet shop would shut down to make way for an extended womenswear department, as part of a £200 million refurbishment.

Like his famous owner, James' canine companion Ralph is no stranger to TV stints, often appearing on James Martin's Saturday Morning, which is filmed at the chef's house.

Last year Ralph also popped up on Britain's Favourite Dogs: Top 100.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.