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Scripps Networks Interactive has announced a new original commission, James Martin’s Christmas With Friends, for Food Network, the global food, entertainment and lifestyle channel, across UK and EMEA.
Hosted by chef and television presenter James Martin, the 2×60’ Christmas specials will see Martin invite viewers to join him around the roaring fire and spend Christmas with him. In each episode, Martin will create four sumptuous festive recipes and be joined by a host of celebrity friends and cooking stars, including one of Britain’s best-loved bakers, Mary Berry. The episodes will air exclusively on Food Network in the UK on November 14th and 21st at 9pm.
Produced by Blue Marlin Television, James Martin’s Christmas With Friends will follow James as he cooks up some of his favourite recipes. Over the two specials, James will share stories of Christmases past, from memories of his childhood growing up in a farming family, to when he first started out as a young professional chef.
The seasoned chef will meet his friends Mary Berry, Jennie McAlpine and Brian Turner, among others. Martin’s special guests will bring inspiration from their own Christmas traditions and share their tips for creating delicious meals during the festive season.
“Showcasing well-known British talent like James Martin on our platform has been a key focus this year, as we continue to establish Food Network as the leading global food, entertainment and lifestyle brand across EMEA,” said Kevin Dickie, Senior Vice President Channels, Scripps Networks Interactive, UK & EMEA. “We’re really excited to be working with James. He’s a talent we know that Food Network viewers love.”
“I’m delighted to be working with Food Network on this Christmas Show. Christmas is a time of year when food takes centre stage for many, so I’m looking forward to celebrating some classic seasonal dishes and revealing some new festive food ideas, with an entertaining and eclectic mix of guests. It promises to be a lot of fun,” said James Martin.
David Nottage, Executive Producer at Blue Marlin Television said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the team at Food Network, and on such a lovely project too. We’re all foodies at Blue Marlin, and there’s no better time for foodies than Christmas! So we’re putting all our efforts into what promises to be a real Christmas treat. James has some wonderful recipes in store, and a really fantastic selection of guests who will keep us all entertained! There will be a lot of laughs and more than a few surprises for guests and viewers alike. Christmas starts here!”
“We were so pleased to be approached for this project, as we’ve long admired what Food Network has achieved in the UK and EMEA,” said Fiona Lindsay, Managing Director at Blue Marlin Television. “We are very excited about this Christmas Special and very much hope that it will be the start of a long and rewarding partnership with a group of people who clearly have a passion for food that matches our own!”
This news follows the recent announcements of Scripps Networks’ original commissions for 2016, including Paddy McGuinness’ Stars In Their Cars and Grand Slam Fishing with Robson Green on Travel Channel, and Food Network’s latest series Paul Hollywood City Bakes, which has been recommissioned for a second series.
All new programmes have been commissioned by Kevin Dickie, Senior Vice President Channels, and Gareth Williams, Vice President, Commissioning, Scripps Networks Interactive, UK & EMEA.