‘We’re going to fall out’ James Martin’s warning to wealthy ex-girlfriend Barbara Broccoli

James Martin gets emotional as he celebrates his 200th show

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James Martin, 49, dated James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli 20 years ago, but her wealth and their age gap got in the way of their romance. As Barbara, 61, tried to lavish James with expensive gifts, he told her she needed to stop. 

The former Saturday Kitchen star met Barbara, who is 12 years his senior, at a charity auction. 

He said they clicked instantly after she bid £18,000 at an auction for him to cook for her at her Chelsea home. 

But James would later explain their lives were just too different – and he would get star-struck when she hung out with the Hollywood elite such as Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry.

Barbara tried to buy James an £180,000 Aston Martin, and he had to draw the line. 

“It wasn’t as if it was my birthday or Christmas – it was just a spur of the moment thought,” James said.

“In the end I said, ‘If I want something, I’ll work for it. Just drop it or we’re going to fall out over this’.

“It was a defining moment in our relationship. Deep down, I knew there was always going to be an imbalance.”

He later said their split was “for the best”.

 “To walk away from someone you love and who loves you that much is hard,” he explained at the time. 

“Maybe it was the daftest thing I have done in my life but it was probably the most sensible, too.”

James has opened up in the past about how his dedication to his illustrious TV career has come at a price. 

He said his busy work life had been a “lifestyle choice” that he made instead of having a wife and children.

“The sacrifices you make are huge. All your mates are married and have children,” he began. 

“It was quite funny – my friends came over to my house last week and we were walking through my garages when one of them said, ‘So this is what you could have had if you didn’t have kids’.

“It’s a lifestyle choice. The sacrifices you make doing your job are colossal, but the rewards are huge,” he added to Reader’s Digest.

The chef continued: “And I don’t mean financial, it’s in here and here,” he explained, pointing to his head and heart. “That’s what matters.”

James’ decision to quit Saturday Kitchen came under horrifying circumstances as he watched a man die moments after they had just chatted.

At the BBC Good Food Awards in 2015, James met businessman Dominic De Souza, who was a similar age to him.

But Dominic walked up on stage minutes later – and tragically suffered a fatal heart attack. 

James says the tragedy changed his life and worldview forever, showing him that he needed to change his work/life balance. 

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