GUTTED James Martin revealed he was forced to give away hundreds of thousands of pounds of food over Christmas as coronavirus restrictions decimated his restaurant bookings.
The TV chef shared his festive plight today while cooking for This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes.
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The downcast star explained he had 6,000 bookings over the Christmas period but all were cancelled after the Government plunged the majority of the country into Tier 4 restrictions, forcing the closure of pubs and restaurants.
James, who runs James Martin Manchester, The Kitchen at Chewton Glen, and James Martin Kitchen explained how he gave much of the produce to food banks.
Explaining the gravity of the situation, he said: "Horrific. Six thousand bookings we had and all the food for, and just got the message like you. Christmas Eve shut. That's it.
"[I've] Spent a lot of time on the telephone trying to redo the bookings, trying to reorganise everything. We've got food, team, staff… listen everyone's going through a nightmare. It's not been great and continues to not be great, and I feel sorry for the hospitality industry at large.
"We've turned a lot of it into food for food banks, giving it away technically. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food."
James added that insurance doesn't cover his losses, and he's just "hanging on" and relying on his love for cooking to see him through.
In July James ranted about no-show customers who failed to turn up for bookings.
The TV chef took a swipe at rude restaurant blow-outs during his segment on This Morning as he explained about his friend's restaurant.
The former Saturday Kitchen host told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford how he was shocked and appalled that 92 customers failed to show up for their lunch slot at his pal's place – with only four of them appearing.
The talented cook told viewers about the ongoing problem and whether it had happened to him.
He said: "Fortunately only a few times, not to the extent of some people I've heard about. One of my friends had 96 people booked for lunch and only four turned up.
"So you an imagine running a business like that. It's very difficult in the hardest times, it's really difficult getting food really let alone staff.
"It's an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed."
Host Ruth quizzed him on lots of restaurants saying they will take a deposit before you book, to which James responded: "It's one of those things. It's whether people will accept that.
"It's a chicken and egg thing. It's difficult to know what to do. There's no answer for it. You'd hope that people have a little bit of common sense and a little bit of courtesy."
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