Come Dine with Me is back for a new series

Monday:Come Dine with Me; (Channel 4, 5pm)

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 5:00 pm
Christopher, Izzy, Mark, Nicole and Adam
Christopher, Izzy, Mark, Nicole and Adam

Since its launch in 2005, Come Dine With Me has given us no end of awkward dinner interactions, cooking disasters and bizarre early evening entertainment.

The award-winning reality series hasn’t been on our screen for a year, mainly due to Covid restrictions, but if you thought you’d seen the end of poorly made beef Wellington and Eton mess, or heard the last of Dave Lamb’s witty commentary and sharp narration, you were wrong.

The series returns for a new series this week, as five contestants from in and around Basingstoke have a go at hosting dinner parties.

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As usual, each contestant is given £125 to go towards their food and drink, while a prize money of £1,000 is up for grabs at the end of the week for the contestant who can host the best dinner party.

It may sound simple, but if you’ve never seen Come Dine With Me before, be warned: it never that straight forward. Contestants often play strategically, sometimes deliberately underscoring the other contestants or trying to make them look bad in front of the other guests. It should be said, that while the edited the dinner parties in the show look seamless, they apparently take up to eight hours to film per night.

Also, the dramatic taxi scenes at the end of each episode are also not real – the cabs do a few laps around the block for each contestant while they film the scoring segment. One thing that is authentic is the platter of cash served up at the end week to the winner. It is made of real money – but which of this week’s quintet will be walking away with it this Friday?

First up, taking her turn hosting is marketing manager and maths enthusiast Nicole. She is hoping to wow her guests with a culinary nod to her roots and is throwing in a disco for good measure. Her foodie journey takes us from Lebanon back to the UK via the Caribbean. But will it be enough to impress her guests ?

In Tuesday’s show, cheeky chappy and business owner Adam cooks authentic Mexican cuisine, inspired by his one-week holiday to Cancún.

There’s even a Mexican gun fight with water pistols to add some fun to the fiesta, with Adam relying on his hosting skills rather than his cooking to wow his guests. On the third night in Basingstoke, DJ and nutritionist Mark goes down the festival route with both his food and the entertainment. He’s also offering his guests a taste of his own special filtered water, which sadly doesn’t go down as well as planned.

Next, winery worker Izzy plans a sophisticated evening, but will the self-confessed queen of dinner parties give the guests a night to remember and put herself in the top spot?

Our final host is snappy dresser and 1990s music lover Chris, who’s hoping to impress his guests with a ‘Franglais’ menu: French dishes made with local produce.

Chris has been disappointed with the standard of cooking all week and plans to take it up a notch for the final night!

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