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Come Dine With Me: A Not Losers Manual

March 16, 2015


When you have a life partner who watches this obsessively, who watches the omnibus edition at the weekend, and who has the ability to somehow instantly forget the outcome of every episode ever made, just so they can watch it all over again with unalloyed relish – you learn a few things about how not to lose Come Dine With Me.

Personally, I’m fond of that guy who just got pleasantly drunk every night and gave every single host ten out of ten.  That’s how I’d be tempted to play – but he did come last.

Here are some tips for not coming last.

1.  Remember that everything that happens is your fault.  If you’re in the kitchen peeling carrots when someone is prompted to release a suppressed childhood memory involving spiders or zombies – then that trauma is your fault and you have to deal with it.  Don’t spend too long in the kitchen at a time in any case.

2. Never apologise.  When carrying a dish to table, never blush and say “these didn’t turn out the way I thought”.  If your guests are looking for things to fault, you’ve just given them a deduction.

3.  Look as though you’re enjoying your own food. No matter what.

4.  Try and avoid or stifle those poisonous conversational “games” that never end well.  If it’s the last night someone will say “What was everybody’s first impressions of each other.”  This is the beginning of a very bad evening.  ‘Well I liked you at first…’ is the beginning of a frosty atmosphere.  As is ‘I really like you now…’

5.  Even worse is when someone announces “How old do you think I am?”  This never ever ever ends well and results in guests still fuming in their taxis and prone to take out their resentment on your banoffi pie.

6.   Do not employ underdressed ‘staff’ male or female to supposedly hand out drinks but actually just look pretty.  Guests always feel awkward around decorative strangers and never know whether to talk to them or not. Scantily clad models are always a conversation last killer.

7.    Avoid sentences beginning “here’s my road map for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East…”

8.    Under no circumstances permit your pet snake to take a dump on the dining room table.  Your evening will not recover from that.

Ah rules rules rules! I think I’d just drink lots and give out ten points to everyone. Lose the thousand pounds but gain three or four friends for life.


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One Comment
  1. Number Two is a famous rule of Julia Child! She said never apologize and never explain. I have found it to be good advice. And heaven preserve us from the game Nazis, people who brightly decree that everyone has to turn to their neighbor and share their most embarrassing moment, or tell if they were a tree, what kind they would be…

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