James Martin: How not to apologise

Out of the frying pan into the fire

TV chef James Martin has apologised for his remarks about cyclists in the Mail on Sunday. Or rather, in the typical style of a fevered ego caught being a complete twat in public, he hasn’t.

“May I take this opportunity to apologise for any offence I have caused,” he writes on his website, eventually ending with: “I am sincerely sorry for any upset.”

He hasn’t apologised for sounding his horn unnecessarily, the kind of breach of the Highway Code for which anti-cyclist polemicists like Martin love to pillory cyclists.

He’s not said sorry for running a bunch of cyclists off the road, probably because that admission might make him susceptible to the attentions of PC Plod for admitting reckless driving.

All he’s done, in fact, is to flail desperately to try to salvage a bit of his reputation. Well, not so much flail as fail, despite claiming he “does not condone any form of reckless driving”. Problem is, James, it’s hard to claim you don’t condone something you’ve already admitted to.

The arrogance of this faux apology is breathtaking. Most of us learnt at infant school that when you do something wrong, you apologise for what you’ve done.

At James Martin’s school, it looks like the kids who picked on James were not forced to apologise for being bullying little ratbags but for making him cry, and that sad lesson has stayed with him for life.

If James Martin is genuinely sorry for behaving like a cock while driving that Tesla, then that’s what he needs to apologise for, not for damaging his own precious public image – and pissing off Tesla, who have said they won’t be using his review in their publicity materials – by writing about it.

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