Celebrity chef James Martin has issued an apology on his website after angering cyclists throughout the world with tales of recklessly endangering cyclists in a Tesla electric sports car. The star of Saturday Kitchen raised the ire of Bradley Wiggins and Robbie McEwen amongst other notable names, and has been forced to retract his comments.
“Each Saturday, a big black truck appears at the bottom of my road, with bikes stuck to the roof and rear. Out of it step a bunch of City-boy ponces in fluorescent Spider-Man outfits, shades, bum bags and stupid cleated shoes, who then pedal around our narrow lanes four abreast with their private parts alarmingly apparent. Do they enjoy it? They never smile. I'm sure they just come here to wind me up.”, he wrote in the Mail on Sunday
“Twenty minutes into my test drive", Martin reported, "I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong - and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists. Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed.
“The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror. I think this could be the car for me."
Martin's 'review' was widely condemned by the cycling community, with the CTC urging the cyclists involved to get in touch with their legal team. Tesla also distanced themselves from the TV chef, stating that they wouldn't be using the review in their publicity and noting that they sold cars to a 'disproportionate' number of environmentalists and cyclists. The Mail later cut the story on their website to remove the paragraphs about Martin's brush with the cyclists, though they kept the rest of his ill-considered diatribe.
Bradley Wiggins was quick to condemn James Martin via Twitter, stating in his usual sardonic style a "Meal suggestion for this Saturday Kitchen for James Martin, Spotted DICK!". Robbie McEwen was even less generous, encouraging cyclists to "either key [Martin's] car or punch him in the face".
Now Martin has piped up to apologise, stating that it was "never his intention to offend" cyclists, although it's hard to imagine what else he thought the reaction would be. He doesn't state whether he was telling the truth about the incident or whether it was embellished for comic effect; presumably the latter, since he states that he doesn't "condone any form of reckless driving"
James Martin's statement
Regarding the The Tesla Roadster Article...
May I take this opportunity to apologize for any offence I have caused through the article in last weekend’s Mail on Sunday. It was never my intention to offend the many cyclists who share our roads across the country. What was intended to be a humorous piece was clearly misjudged. Further more I do not condone any form of reckless driving.
Once again, I am sincerely sorry for any upset caused in relation to this article.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.