The occasion in query compelled him to step down from Saturday Kitchen, the vastly widespread present he had introduced on the BBC for a decade.
While attending a meals pageant, James witnessed a pal die instantly from a heart attack.
“I was in Dubai for a food festival about six months before I left Saturday Kitchen. There were 2,000 people in the room. I sat talking to this wonderful guy, same age as me, same kind of story about starting from nothing, only he’d gone to Dubai and set up one of the biggest publishing houses in the Emirates,” he recounted to MailOnline.
James continued: “He stood up to introduce the show, but while he was on stage, that was it. I saw him black out, hit the deck. Heart attack. He’d gone before he hit the floor.”
READ MORE: Nathaniel Hall health: It’s A Sin actor describes his HIV prognosis – signs