Although many viewers were delighted to have him back on their screens, several were left fuming over his decision to change his allegiance from one channel to the other.
They took to Twitter to vent their anger, with one saying: “Can we just talk controversy and betrayal… James Martin has a new Saturday morning cooking show after leaving Saturday Kitchen.”
“I see the school dinner lady James Martin has turned up on ITV with the same show he quit on the BBC. Money talks,” another blasted, while a third called James a “traitor”.
“James Martin leaving BBC for his prog on ITV proper traitor,” a fourth agreed.
One viewer at home noted the irritant of the advert breaks, commenting: “This new James Martin thing, I can see the viewing figures tumbling as adverts come on, people turn over to BBC.”
“The Beeb has never been the same since James Martin left but this is recorded, plagiarised ITV crud. Will stick with #SaturdayKitchen thanks,” said another.
Although the new show divided fans, James’ new hosting gig did gain him a lot of praise from some, with one gushing: “Loving the show. You’ve been missed on Saturday mornings.
“Lovely to see you back on a Saturday morning,” said another, as a third chipped in: “It’s about time @jamesmartinchef was back on Saturday morning TV.”
During the first instalment of Saturday Morning with James Martin, the chef was joined by Loose Women star Linda Robson, 59, and Michelin-starred Daniel Galmiche, also 59.
The new programme saw him whip up a number of tasty treats, including a delicious-looking quiche, bringing his trademark straightforward instruction to viewers as he explained how to make the perfect, simple pastry from scratch.
Saturday Morning with James Martin continues next Saturday at 9.30am on ITV.