The BBC has responded to a report in The Sun claiming that the ratings for Saturday Kitchen have seen a significant drop. The tabloid notes that the programme’s audience has almost halved since the departure of long-time host James Martin earlier this year.
“The guest chefs aren’t working as well as bosses had hoped. Viewers loved James and the show is really struggling without him.” – An unnamed source told the paper
The article goes on to compare the 1.4 million viewers who tuned in to the show’s most recent episode, presented by Donal Skehan, with the 2.4 million who watched James’s last edition.
However, in a statement the BBC has downplayed the claims pointing out that the programme’s viewership has in fact remained stable. The beeb further note that the rating for James’s final programme was atypical
“When compared to the same period last year, the average audience has remained relatively stable – currently 1.4m (21 per cent share) compared to 1.5m (22 per cent share) last year. Audiences for the recent shows have been as high as 1.7m.
“The Sun is comparing James’s final show – which, for a much-loved presenter of 10 years, was unsurprisingly high – to our ongoing figures. This is a recipe for overcooked reporting.” – BBC
Martin quit Saturday Kitchen in March after presenting the show since 2006. The BBC announced in February that he was leaving to focus on other projects, however tabloid reports at the time suggested that budget cuts were a factor in his departure.
Saturday Kitchen airs every Saturday at 10am on BBC One.