TV chef James Martin shares cancer update: 'I've been through a lot'

James Martin is best known as a TV chef but for the last few years, he has been dealing with cancer. He was first diagnosed in 2018 and 6 years later, he has given a hopeful update.

TV chef James Martin cancer update split girlfriend
© Mark R. Milan / Getty Images
TV chef James Martin cancer update split girlfriend

James Martin was born on June 30, 1972, making him 51 at the time of writing this article. He was born in Malton, North Yorkshire and his parents were farmers, working for the Castle Howard estate, as per The Sun.

Discover our latest podcast

James Martin studied catering at Scarborough Technical College, despite struggling with dyslexia. He then went on to further his catering training in France and worked for three Michelin-star restaurants. James Martin also worked for Antony Worrall Thompson's Kensington eatery.

At the age of 22, James Martin was the head chef at the Hotel du Vin in Winchester. Martin then decided to start his TV chef career, starring in Ready Steady Cook and The Big Breakfast. James now has his own TV show James Martin’s Saturday Morning which has been running since 2017, but he took a small break at the end of 2023. The reason behind that is: he continues his cancer treatment.

James Martin was diagnosed with cancer in 2018

As reported by Hello!, James Martin was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He shared the news in 2023 after The Sun obtained audio tapes from 2018 of the TV chef ranting at his staff. He was heard swearing 42 times during the recordings.

James Martin apologised for his behaviour, explaining that he had been going through ‘fraught and difficult periods’. At the time he had recently lost his last living grandfather and was unable to attend his funeral due to his work schedule.

Firstly, I would like to publicly and sincerely apologise to the crew involved in this incident, as I did at the time.
I was dealing with the death of my last living grandparent, my grandfather, and on account of work commitments I could not attend his funeral.

He also added that his long-term girlfriend, Louise, was home alone while their house was burgled by a masked gang.

I was burgled at night by a team of masked men, who entered my house while my partner Louise was at home alone.

Finally, James Martin revealed that he had been diagnosed with facial cancer around that time and that he needed surgery but was not able to do the operation until ‘two days before Christmas’ as that was when he had finished filming.

On top of this I was then diagnosed with cancer on my face and I had to have surgery.

James Martin’s cancer has returned several times

Sadly for James Martin, his surgery wasn’t the only treatment he needed as the cancer came back ‘on several occasions’, meaning he needed ‘regular treatments’. More recently, James Martin has given a somewhat hopeful update on his cancer journey.

Indeed, the TV chef appeared on Lorraine on April 16, 2024 and revealed things were ‘good’ and that his ‘stitches have fallen out’.

As per Hello!, he told Lorraine:

Yes, the stitches have fallen out, as you know, the last time I was on, I was in the middle of operations. As we speak, the stitches have fallen out of my body at the moment and that's all clear, onwards and upwards!

James Martin took a break from television at the end of 2023 and told his fans at a tour show in Liverpool's Philharmonic that he was going through a lot with cancer and would go on ‘a little bit of a break’ while he gets his health sorted:

For me personally, I've been through a lot of s**t with cancer but I'm getting sorted at the end of next month.
I will be back fighting at the end of February but I'm going on a little bit of a break to get that sorted.

Naturally, the TV chef thanked his fans for all the love and support he has been receiving as he goes through his cancer treatment.

I just wanted to say thank you for all your support and all your messages

James Martin has split from his long-term girlfriend

James Martin’s latest cancer update comes as the TV chef split from his long-term girlfriend of 12 years, Louise Davies. Indeed, a spokesperson for Martin confirmed that the two had gone their separate ways back in December 2023 but have remained friends. Despite the split taking place at the end of 2023, the news of James and Louise’s breakup is recent.

James has been very open about his relationship with Louise and the fact that neither of them had planned on getting married or starting a family.

As per Hello!, he said:

No, it [marriage] doesn't interest me in the slightest, mainly because I've catered for so many weddings, really.


I admire people who do it, that's fine, but I'm quite happy. I don't need to spend 60 grand on a day, no, I'm more than happy thanks.

In a separate interview with Prima, James Martin revealed that he had ‘given up everything’ in order to achieve his career - meaning children - but he also admitted that he would do it again as it made him who he is.

As per Hello! he said:

The biggest low of my career is that I've given up everything for it. I look at my mates and they're all married with kids, and that's not the case for me because I've been so focused on work.
But would I do the same thing again? Probably, because it's made me who I am. And why does everybody have to follow the norm anyway?

James and Louise started dating back in 2011 after the couple had met on Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The couple lived together in a mansion in Hampshire as per Daily Mail. The TV chef has recently sparked romance rumours as he was spotted in Mayfair with his personal trainer Kim Johnson looking at watches.

Read more:

Louise Thompson reveals she is using a ‘lifesaving’ stoma: What is ulcerative colitis?

TV chef Rick Stein went through a traumatic loss at 18 years old as his father passed away

Louis Walsh reveals he was diagnosed with rare type of blood cancer on Celebrity Big Brother

Sources used:

Hello!: ‘James Martin and girlfriend Louise Davies break up after 12 years’

The Sun: ‘STAR'S AGONY James Martin reveals shock cancer diagnosis with TV chef getting ‘regular treatment’

Hello!: ‘James Martin addresses cancer battle in rare update’

Daily Mail: ‘James Martin shares health update as he returns to TV following cancer battle’

Hello!: ‘Inside James Martin's home, 70lb weight loss and private life with girlfriend Louise’

The Sun: ‘RECIPE FOR SUCCESS Who is James Martin and what’s his net worth?’

Amy Dowden’s latest health updates shows ‘no evidence’ of cancer: ‘Biggest accomplishment’ Amy Dowden’s latest health updates shows ‘no evidence’ of cancer: ‘Biggest accomplishment’