TV chef James Martin faces backlash for “identifying as an otter”


The former Saturday Kitchen presenter, who left the BBC in 2016, was apparently angered by reports that children’s character Fireman Sam is being phased out as a mascot by the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service with an aim to inspire more girls to become firefighters. The chef wrote on Twitter: “Right that’s it, Fireman Sam is the last straw I’m done with this pc bollocks and 100 identities being taught. In a last stand to this outrageous madness I now wish to be known as an Otter”. Martin, who is straight, is unlikely to be aware of an alternative meaning of the word “otter” in a gay subculture – a slim and hairy gay man.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service said the term “fireman” was outdated and put off girls who want to see themselves in this profession. Chief fire officer Les Britzman said: “There’s been a lot of research that says that images that young people have about what careers they want to do are formed when they are about four or five. If you are promoting that image we might be stopping people wanting to apply for the fire service 20 years down the line.”


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