COMING home should feel special, and so it proved for James Martin. The famed Yorkshireman and television chef was given a very warm welcome, which was repaid in spades.

The tour marks 25 years in the ‘biz, from a fresh bandana to a wiser and wider man who wears his popularity lightly. Martin was, as on previous tours, sparkling company. For two hours, he kept the audience laughing with all of the tricks of a showman. Even his beef stock cubes drew appreciative ‘oos’ from the audience, such is the power of the man.

His exuberance and good humour were matched by the flamboyance and largesse of his recipes. For the unfamiliar, the show consisted of Martin, nimbly assisted by his long-standing sous-chef Chris Start, preparing a series of dishes. All accomplished without reverential silence, or burning anything.

While Leach has perfected the art of dead pan, Martin is no slouch with his comic "Now then matron" stares, and has a great line in one-liners. One such quip, taking aim at Joe Wicks’s "Lean And Mean In 15", was "mine should be ‘Fat In 5’".

York Press:

Birthday surprise: In the one moment of audience participation, Hayley, celebrating her birthday, was brought up on stage, then used to demonstrate the different parts of a steak. As a reward, she received a meal and a night away at a Michelin star restaurant.

The food looked wonderful. Trade secrets were also in evidence; cheese sauce in a frying, rather than a small, pan, heavens…!

Martin’s "just throw the lot in with lots of butter" approach meant it was never dull. Rich, yes, (and you could forgive him the name dropping of his famous friends). Other targets, all gloriously put down with a wink, included spiralisers, the food hygiene moaners and most of all his critics. There were entertaining stories from his television shows, including a preview of his forthcoming adventure around the British Isles.

With his mother in the crowd, Martin played it up for all he was worth, and his 1980s' revival in the second half was a very clever idea. Perhaps the greatest gift on show was his ability to connect to his audience. He was, in every sense, one of us.