James Martins Spanish Adventure Will Air Shortly On ITV & Be Sold To Global Buyers At Mipcom Despite Bullying Complaint

EXCLUSIVE: James Martin’s Spanish Adventure, which was the subject of a formal bullying complaint and led to the presenter being rapped by ITV, will air shortly and be sold to international buyers at Mipcom.

ITV is pushing on with plans to play the TV series – in which the under-fire TV chef travels around Spain cooking and meeting locals – in the Autumn. The show’s distributor, DCD Rights, meanwhile, which has sold many of Martin’s travelogues made by his indie Blue Marlin, said it will be “launched at Mipcom to international buyers as planned.”

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A Deadline investigation late last month revealed that Martin had been told to change his behavior by ITV following a complaint on the set of Spanish Adventure. Martin, who has hosted ITV’s Saturday Morning for six years and the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen for a decade before that, was accused of berating people, reducing them to tears in front of other colleagues, and changing schedules at the last minute, giving his team just a few hours of sleep before the following morning’s shoot.

Furthermore, Deadline revealed a formal complaint was made to the presenter and his Blue Marlin co-owner Fiona Lindsay in 2018 by staff members over “repeated incidents of inappropriate, intimidating and bullying behavior” on James Martin’s Saturday Morning.

ITV has already said it will “closely monitor” Martin’s future productions but plans to continue working with him, and it is pushing on with the Spanish Adventure scheduling. The broadcaster has told Blue Marlin to update its processes to reflect “best practice.”  

In response to the allegations last month, a Blue Marlin statement said Martin and the indie had “agreed that lessons have been learned which have been discussed with members of the team and with ITV.” “Blue Marlin Television and James Martin have taken on board ITV’s recommendations and their sharing of best practice, and are in the process of fully implementing,” it added. Martin subsequently issued a further statement saying that he was being treated for a cancer diagnosis when the 2018 complaint was made and apologizing for “any offence or upset caused.”

Mipcom is taking place in October and factual distributor DCD Rights is making Spanish Adventure a key part of its slate.

The distributor, which also sells the likes of Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Aussie Gold Hunters, said: “DCD Rights has represented James Martin’s travelogue and cookery series produced by Blue Marlin for a number of years.  Following a series of statements from the broadcaster ITV, James Martin and Blue Marlin, the new series – Spanish Adventures – will shortly be broadcast by ITV and will be launched at MIPCOM to international buyers as planned.”

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