Come Dine With Me


I’ve been sitting on my appreciation of this particular show for quite some time, but I can contain it no longer. It’s time for the walk of shame. Like a voluminous fart, finally released with great relief after a day spent with the in-laws, the truth must out.

I really, really like Come Dine With Me.

What’s more, if I’m wasting Sunday the way Sunday is meant to be wasted, I can’t resist the temptation – flicking over to More4 in the early afternoon, bracing myself for the Come Dine With Me marathon. All the cool kids will be doing it soon enough. It can’t just be me who becomes heavily immersed in a series of filmed dinner parties on the day of rest, every week?

Two and a half hours (ie – five episodes condensed) sounds heavy going, but the show is so heavy with filler and catch-up that it’s almost as if you’re not watching television. You’re just being fed a series of easily consumed baby-food spoonfuls.

As with all reality TV, this is heavily edited to make it as amusing as possible and to imply that, over the course of a three-course meal, something uproarious occurred every five minutes. But it’s reality TV that makes no attempt to prove its integrity. That fact is confirmed when you consider Grub Smith (that bloke who used to do the sex columns for FHM) does the voiceover, which plays continuously throughout. He spends the entire time mocking the diners. As you comment ‘you don’t look like you need an extra portion, love’, Smith’s voice will say the exact same thing a millisecond later, like some weird pre-delayed echo.

The fact that five strangers are forced to meet every weekday meeting in a single week is really what makes it all work. In the same way Wife Swap pits complete opposites against one another and waits for a spark, CDWM shoves members of the public together willy-nilly and makes them converse, eat, cook, fight, moan and drunkenly flirt on five consecutive evenings, as they wallow in the boozy claustrophobia of the exercise. In fact, it becomes so oppressive that the final cook is always at a disadvantage. By day five the contestants are all so hungover and overfed that being marked down is inevitable. Add to that the arguments they’ll have had, usually starting on Day Two, and the final cook is never going to come first.

On yesterday’s marathon we saw a fat, pretentious twat called Pippa cook what was meant to be a chicken pie for the diners, though, alas, she forgot to put the chicken in before baking. When one of her guests arrived at 6.15 – 15 minutes early, she was made to wait in the cold rather than being welcomed in with a glass of warm booze. I’d have put a brick through her window if she’d done that to me.

Stuart was another contestant, his menu evidence that he still inhabited the brain of a pissed student. The less said about his bacon and egg korma, the better, I feel.

He came equal last with Vera (the diner left out in the cold by that rotund bell-end, Pippa). Vera was a lovely old, no-nonsense boiler who, when making a compote, took some strawberry jam and added a bit of tap water. Genius. She was docked a whole heap of points when her little dog walked into the dining area, trumped out a killer fart and then waddled off, ruining everyone’s’ meal. Who needs words?

Paul should’ve won it. He made the best food, extremely well presented, but his bravado was probably his downfall. He ended up losing to Craig, a bizarre contradiction of a man. An androgynous student, South African but with an Etonian accent, part Prince Harry, part Mark Almond, I didn’t really know what or who he was. I think he managed to win by insisting he was allergic to everything including crockery, whilst confusing everyone to the point they could only see a disapproving blur when they looked at him.

He won the £1,000 prize but really, he’s the ultimate loser. He was bullied by a drunken Pippa into arranging a date, despite their 20-year age difference and obvious incompatibility. The thought of his skinny frame enveloped by her rolls of white flesh is quite enough to put anyone off their three-course dinner.

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32 Responses to “Come Dine With Me”

  1. Clarys Says:

    I also love love love Come Dine with Me. More 4 have got it so right with their Sunday fare: Scrapheap Challenge, Come Dine with Me, and Jamie at Home. Perfick.

    Thing about CDWM – it’s not really about the food at all, it’s watching a bunch of people who know sod all about each other try (and usually fail) to get on. Brilliant. The bitching about the dinners around score giving time is always the best.

    An excellent find!

  2. piqued Says:

    Clarys, That’s precisely how I usually spend my Sunday… Gawd bless More 4 I say

  3. Swineshead Says:

    I really don’t get ‘Scrapheap Challenge’. Dull, dull, dull.
    Yes: ‘Dull’.

  4. mikey Says:

    No, No….
    Holiday Showdown is the one! Makes Come dine with me look like an example of civilised living.

  5. piqued Says:


  6. Who Says:

    I love CDWM, it’s the same winning formula every week. A stuck up no-nonsense posho who turns their nose up at anything less than Verve Cliquot, a screaming queen with some sort of manic housework compulsion, a hippy, beardy, organic sandal-wearing do gooder, a cheeky jack the lad and a loveable blonde, vacuous, generously-chested nitwit.

    I only watch it for the recipes yeah but nobody has done sausages and broccoli yet.

  7. piqued Says:

    Yeah, I noticed that, they’re all mentals

  8. Who Says:

    I think the best one was a daft old git who tried to do Crepes Suzette with Blue Curacao. Anyone would think they hadn’t been served soggy green pancakes before, the ungrateful bastardos.

  9. Clarys Says:

    YES! I saw that one, he did a very old school 70’s dinner (bless him, lovely bloke) and was so confused about it being blue aswell….I think I would have gipped on the spot.

  10. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    There’s only one show worth watching during Sunday daytime – Countryfile with John Craven. You people make me sick with your reality television.

  11. Swineshead Says:

    John Craven is a date rapist, I HAVE PROOF

  12. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    A date rapist? Can you back that up? Eh?

  13. Swineshead Says:

    I have it on good authority that he spiked Maggie Philbin’s Sprite with ketamine then had his wicked way with her in the Newsround studio. Cheggers was furious.

  14. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    My arse! Craven wends his way through the British countryside talking about geese-driving and the effects of bird flu on particularly susceptible flocks of free-range birds. He’s not the sort to go drugging female television presenters and slipping ’em the Craven length … that type of thing was Derek Griffith’s speciality.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    This was in the 80s, before Countryfile – they put him on that beat to keep him away from saucy presenters like Philbin and Ellis.
    And your Griffiths accusation is not only racist, it’s also moustachist.

  16. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Countryfile started in the 80s, whippersnapper. Craven’s exempt from your sordid accusations because he was busy reporting on a new type of disease that was sending British dairy herds bonkers. In the 80s. The 80s.

    And my Griffiths accusation wasn’t racist, and that’s the end of that.

  17. Swineshead Says:

    He did Newsround AND Countryfile in the 80s, so your case collapses.

    Ah – not racist but you admit it’s moustachist?
    Who else must feel the wrath of your upper-lip prejudice?

  18. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Hitler? Stalin? Charles Bronson (Britain’s hardest man, not Charles Bronson, Charles Bronson)? I could go on.

    You’re wrong about the Craven. So theeeeerrre!

  19. Swineshead Says:

    Abbi Titmuss has got a moustache.

  20. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Has she?

  21. Swineshead Says:

    I don’t know.

  22. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Making it up as you go along, you is.

  23. Swineshead Says:

    Yoda’s back.

  24. Who Says:

    You’re all wrong – Griffiths was just the wing man. It was Jonathan Cohen and Brian Cant you had to watch out for – Cohen would distract you with a lovely tune on the piano, whilst Cant was having your purse and jewellery away.

  25. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    … is all green and scaley … BADUM-TISSSH!

  26. Swineshead Says:

    Who – WRONG, Cant is/was a saint of a man who can talk to cows.
    Napoleon – my sides have split.

  27. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I once bumped into Brian Cant coming out of Threshers in Lincoln. He wasn’t all that sure on his feet, and there was a whole lotta clinkin’ going on in the two carrier-bags he was holding.

    And he smelt of whisky.

  28. piqued Says:

    Brian Cant be spoken about like that. Stop it, you’re all being beastly

    (Craven was doing Newsround in the 70’s too)

  29. Who Says:

    Well, of course he’s a whiffy old tramp now, let that be a lesson to all you would-be gentleman thieves.

  30. Clair Says:

    Holiday Showdown? Same every week, mate. Toothless, chav family with a fondness for too much Stella take poshos to Tenerife; poshos take chavs on yoga/history/ break; result, they all fucking hate each other. At least with CDWM you have a different selection of nut-jobs each week with mad houses and farting dogs. AND it’s edukayshual.

    PS Brian Cant is Fern Britton’s brother in law. FACT.

  31. mikey Says:

    Holiday Showdown is educational!

  32. bree Says:

    you’re all talking about People I Don’t Know. Who’s this Craven chap? Who?

    Countryfile sounds like a tawdry farm-based drama.

    CDWM, however, I do enjoy and it’s like a bacon’n’egg mcmuffin after a big night – wrong but so, so good. I rarely watch it without a rapidly healing hangover…..maybe it’s a curative.

    I feel bad for Pippa’s solidly constructed foundation garments. There were clearly a few layered on there making absolutely no discernable difference.

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