James Martin has opened up about his "surreal" meeting with the Queen. The celebrity chef was invited to a private reception at Buckingham Palace, where the conversation soon turned to the monarch's adorable pet pooches – her corgis! Speaking to Christine Lampard on ITV's Lorraine, James said: "We just sat there talking about corgi dogs, and it's weird because I love my dogs so you're just sat there, and it's very surreal. I remember walking out of there. The first person I called was my mother and I said, 'You're never going to believe what's happened.' It was just an amazing experience."
The TV chef, 45, admitted he was surprised to be invited to the intimate gathering. "It was a real pinch yourself moment," he said. "Clearly Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay were busy that day, and I got the invite. It was amazing, a phenomenal experience."
The Queen is very fond of her corgis
Last week, he told the Daily Mail: "I presumed it was a 300-seater reception job. But when I got there, it was just six for lunch in the dining room – the Queen, Prince Philip, me and three others. What on earth was a farmer's boy from the moors doing having lunch with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh? Then things got even stranger."
James revealed that he was invited for a one-to-one chat with the Queen in the next room. "One of Her Majesty's staff whispered to me that the Queen felt she hadn't had the chance to have a proper conversation with me, so I was invited to another room after lunch for a chat. It was just me and the Queen – one to one – for about an hour. It was the most surreal moment of my life," said James.