Speaking of other cooking shows, you might presume that I myself am a "foodie" since I enjoy Come Dine With Me so much and it is - arguably - primarily a cooking show. This is not the case. I wouldn’t spend my television watching hours fawning over Nigella as she rustles up something “oooh, soooo lovely and scrumptious!” with her glossy hair and ample cleavage spilling over a baking tray. Nor do I find Gordon Ramsay’s crazy swear-fests particularly entertaining. Truthfully, I would skip any of Jamie Oliver’s shows purely because they rather annoyingly remind me just little my body has to thank me for. But what makes Come Dine With Me so unique is the way it depicts the preparation of food as what I personally understand it to be: a massive hassle. A pain in the arse. Never all that smooth sailing. Makes you sweat and swear a bit. A bit awkward.
But it's not about cooking, is it, really? Come Dine With Me is about the mini domestic drama of every episode, coupled with Dave Lamb's commentary laden with sarcasm and pure piss taking at the contestants, who's every move will inevitably merit a verbal swipe of some description. People will make total arses out of their selves, whether it is by taking the competition that little bit too seriously or by making clearly outrageous comments to their other contestants. Of course, these poor souls are selected on the basis of how much trouble they are likely to rustle up, rather than the meals they'll prepare. Still, when popular TV is so often filled with images of people being so unnervingly talented, it's refreshing to watch a show that highlights the honest truth - it's never "just us", everybody can be a bit mental.