Thursday, April 10, 2008
A recipe for success
COOKING! Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Channel 4, 8.00pm
It's the moment we've all been waiting for (to clarify, by "we all", we mean "everyone who's unwittingly lost an entire Sunday afternoon watching the omnibus of the daytime edition on More4"): Come Dine With Me has achieved the Holy Grail of daytime television and secured itself a primetime slot. To say that we're excited by this prospect is a bit like saying David Platt is ever so slightly unstable.
If you're one of the unfortunate sorts who's yet to experience the show in all its glory, we'll explain the format for you, though please be aware that you really can't capture the brilliance of this series with the written word alone: a group of strangers from the same town are united for a series of dinner parties with each of them taking it in turns to play host, while being scored by the others out of ten, with the highest-scoring host of the week taking home £1000 for their trouble. But that's really only half the fun: the best parts are the bits where they get to snoop around each others' houses and judge people according to their material possessions, and some of the utterly insane cooking techniques and recipes (fruit coulis made by mixing jam and hot water?), as well as the people with severely skewed ideas of how to host a party, such as leaving people standing on the doorstep in the cold for daring to arrive five minutes early.
Admittedly the celebrities lined up for this edition are not exactly what you'd call A-list, but there's definite potential for hilarity here: It Girl Tamara Beckwith, pop star Lynsey de Paul, musician and owner of the UK's best publicised relationship downgrade MC Harvey, and one quarter of G4, Jonathan Ansell (just four contestants rather than five, the better to squeeze into the tiny 60 minute timeslot). We have no idea what's on any of the menus, but we wouldn't be surprised to see any of them whip out the classic ice-cream topped with crushed Maltesers dish, frankly.