Holly Willoughby has reportedly reached out to celebrity chef James Martin after he was accused of bullying.
James, 51, swore 42 times as he launched a foul-mouthed rant at his TV crew in 2018 shortly after his shock cancer diagnosis, with an extraordinary recording of the moment recently being leaked.
And James could be axed by ITV after senior bosses were left furious at allegations of his bullying behaviour.
This Morning host Holly, 42, is said to have contacted James after the recording was leaked, after she herself faced calls to quit her daytime show as she became wrapped up in her former co-host Phillip’s scandal.
Reaching out: Holly Willoughby, 42, has reportedly reached out to celebrity chef James Martin, 51, after he was accused of bullying (Holly pictured in March)
Difficulties: James swore 42 times in a foul-mouthed rant at his TV crew in 2018 shortly after his cancer diagnosis, with an extraordinary recording of the moment recently being leaked (pictured in January 2022)
An insider told The Sun: ‘Holly’s been supporting James Martin ever since the bullying allegations came to light.
‘He was there for her when everything was kicking off at ITV and now she’s returning the favour.
‘They’re good friends and are keeping in touch – despite both being off-screen on This Morning over summer.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Holly and James for comment.
James could be axed by ITV after senior bosses were left furious at allegations of his bullying behaviour.
Some of the network’s executives are lobbying for the chef’s shows not to be recommissioned, the Mail revealed last month.
In leaked audio, James could be heard launching a ten-minute tirade at staff during a Zoom call in 2018.
The chef could be heard swearing 42 times after a drain at his home was blocked during filming for his show James Martin’s Saturday Morning.
The end? James could be axed by ITV after senior bosses were left furious at allegations of his bullying behaviour (pictured in 2021)
At one point James could be heard telling his team they should be ‘f***ing fried’, while in another outburst he suggests they should take their lunch break standing in the ‘f***ing rain’ as punishment.
The incident came to light after a swathe of complaints were made about the chef’s conduct while filming James Martin’s Spanish Adventure this year, sparking an internal investigation into his behaviour.
Responding to ITV’s probe, James said he ‘wholly regrets’ getting angry, and agreed ‘lessons have been learned’.
Sources at the broadcaster say they are under contract to make one more series of the programme but there are currently no plans to order more from the star’s production company Blue Marlin.
James revealed that he had been awaiting surgery for facial cancer at the same time as he launched the foul-mouthed rant at his crew.
But a staff member told the Daily Mail: ‘There have been many allegations made against James now… while there is one series to be made under contract, there is nothing else in the pipeline and there is some strong lobbying taking place that he shouldn’t be signed up again.’
James – whose jovial persona has made him a favourite with viewers – was inundated with supportive messages after a recording of the rant was leaked to The Sun newspaper.
In a statement apologising for his behaviour, he revealed that he had been left in a ‘very emotional state’ following a series of personal tragedies.
He said: ‘The end of 2017 was one of the most fraught and difficult periods of my life. I was dealing with the death of my last living grandparent, my grandfather, and on account of work commitments I could not attend his funeral.
Troubles times: Holly faced calls to quit This Morning as she became wrapped up in her former co-host Phillip Schofield’s scandal earlier this year (Holly and Phillip pictured in May)
‘Later that month I was burgled at night by a team of masked men, who entered my house while my partner Louise was at home alone and I was away working. I was devastated that she had to go through that alone.
‘On top of this I was then diagnosed with cancer on my face and I had to have surgery, which I couldn’t do until two days before Christmas when we had finished filming. Since then it has returned on several occasions and I have to have regular treatments.
‘After all this stress I was in a very emotional state, and when after filming in early January 2018 I discovered my home had been flooded while filming, I was extremely upset.
‘I can only say I am human and following a build-up of personal life pressure, I admit that I overreacted regarding the damage to my home.’