Poultry consultant featured on Channel 4 TV programme takes employer to court

A former consultant working for the SAC is taking his ex-employer to an employment tribunal this week over claims of wrongful dismissal and corporate bullying.

John Kirkpatrick featured in the Channel 4 “Hugh’s Chicken Run” programme back in January, where he helped out celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall by managing his experimental broiler unit.

“SAC were very happy to have me in early January for the publicity of the series. However, after the programme was broadcast to over 4.5m viewers, both my managers and human resources seemed to get some satisfaction from telling me how inferior I was.

“I was served with an Interim Interdict forbidding me from speaking to anyone about what was going on. I had farmers and landowners phoning me asking me what was happening and why they could not deal with me anymore.”

Mr Kirkpatrick is now facing a significant legal bill for defending himself after he was constructively dismissed this year in March. “I have lost my home, my business, my relationship is under real pressure and find what has happened to me very difficult to deal with indeed.

“I came to SAC in good faith and after the programme I was totally shunned by them.”

Commenting on the case, an SAC spokesman highlighted that as it is an ongoing case, they couldn’t say too much other than that “the allegations are totally unfounded.”

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