I have never been on Come Dine with Me. In fact, I've never even cooked a three-course meal before. I barely have three dishes in my entire culinary repertoire, truth be told – not without swamping my ingredients in Nando's peri-peri sauce and chilli flakes, anyway.
But through years of sitting in my pants and mocking those who can, on Channel 4's cult cookery show, I feel I've become something of an authority on what's needed to take home the £1,000 prize money – and, more importantly, how to ensure you don't get tore a new back door by narrator Dave Lamb in the process.
Here's how you can achieve Come Dine with Me success...
Try not to let anyone or anything defecate on the dining table
Hunt, gather, provide. This is the basic, primal subsistence strategy us humans have employed for millions of years. One Come Dine with Me contestant, Claire from York, decided to properly fuck with this tried and tested model.
Sure she hunted – well, went to the supermarket; gathered – well, picked them up and paid for them; and provided – cooked them up all nice and that. But Claire, the Darwinian iconoclast that she is, had to go one step further, by allowing her pet snake – Fluffy! – to do a huge, disgusting serpent shite during desert, in the middle of the dinner table.
She didn't win that week. The sss-shit looked more appetising than most of her grub.
How many times have we heard: “This is the first time I've made this dish” before the contestant serves a catastrophe casserole?
Remain conscious at all times
Staying awake long enough to chew the food you've just put into your mouth may sound a simple enough concept, but it was too much trouble for one of Come Dine with Me's most damaged contestants – Dawn her name was.
Dawn – looking like the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex, shot through a food processor and stuffed into a 50-year-old condom – only went and got spangled during her night, didn't she, leaving one of the other contestants to finish cooking her main. She did briefly wake-up for dessert, only to end up face down again shortly after, knocking out zzz's with an avocado as her pillow.
The food bit
I know a bit about food. I eat it almost every day. Sometimes I cook it for myself, occasionally I pay other people to cook it for me it. There are few types of food I really dislike and almost nothing that I wouldn't try at least once. Still, I wouldn't consider entering a cooking competition for fear of being out of my depth.
It is incredible, then, the amount of people that enter Come Dine with Me that either don't like eating food or don't know how to cook it. How many times have we heard: “This is the first time I've made this dish” before the contestant serves a catastrophe casserole?
Or what about contestants like that one from Nuneaton, Dean, who, by his own admission, was a “food-phobic”. On a food show. Madness. You don't see people that are shit-scared of grandfather clocks, cowering behind Fiona Bruce on the Antiques Roadshow, do you.
(Incidentally, on the same episode as nil by mouth Dean, there's a woman by the name of Tina. She is the single worst CDwM contestant of all-time. Not only was she, too, infuriatingly picky about food, but she also kept her dead cats in an urn in her living room – they'd been cremated, I hope, but the very sight of them still made poor Dean weep – and her party piece was to cry like a baby, one of the most horrific things I have seen on television or anywhere else in the world, ever, for that matter. It was so awful, it made my penis shrivel up and retreat inside of my body, screaming “I'm never going near another fucking woman again after that, they're mental” as it withered. “Why would you do that?!” her fellow contestant, and only normal person on that particular episode, Christian, said.)
“I didn't enjoy tonight, at all. A snake shat on my tiramisu. That lady on the precipices of a nervous breakdown went for a kip and had screaming night terror attacks throughout my main – so that was ruined.
Under no circumstance plan 'entertainment'
Listen up, reader. This is the part of the article where we all have fun. We're going to have fun, because I'm telling you we're going to have fun. I've arranged some sentences to ensure we all have lovely, organised, tyrannical fun... So you better fucking enjoy it:
Everyone loves to eat food next to the naked carcass of highly uncomfortable, semi-naked humans. Right? Nude help. That's not entertainment.
We all love to sing, dance and do exercise on national television, don't we? Look our most vulnerable with a three-course banquet sloshing around inside our stomachs, ready to reappear mid-Macarena? A nice compulsory, humiliating round of karaoke, Wii Just Dance or high-intensity aerobics – as one bonkers personal trainer-contestant did. That's certainly not entertainment.
Teen can-can dancers, tone-deaf acoustic sets and cultish-looking choirs: children, invariably, are shit at entertainment. We only humour them because they are half-developed clones of ourselves. Don't make strangers in your home, watch kids they don't know, performing badly. That's, without a shadow of a doubt, not entertainment – and maybe even worth giving social services a call about.
The host. Doing anything. Is gouge-your-eyes-out-with-a-dessert-spoon-embarrassing. Just cook. Don't perform.
Learn how to give marks out of 10
“I didn't enjoy tonight, at all. A snake shat on my tiramisu. That lady on the precipices of a nervous breakdown went for a kip and had screaming night terror attacks throughout my main – so that was ruined. As for the starter, well it was served by a greased-up, steroid-bloated, dead-behind-the-eyes adolescent male, wearing nothing but a collar and cuffs; and he dripped baby lotion from his oily tit, into my prawn cocktail – and I'm not really a “man-nipple-lube-prawn-cocktail” sort of person. So, because of all these factors combined, and it saddens me to say this... I can only give tonight an eight.”
No. Fuck off. Learn how to give proportionate marks. Don't slate the night, from top to bottom, and then give it a good mark. Don't be one of those ultra-competitive fuckwits that gives a solid evening a shit mark, in the hope of bolstering your chances of winning. Take it seriously What, do you think this a game or something?
And that's it. Keep faeces away from the food, avoid being all horizontal and passed-out between courses, enjoy eating, be good at cooking and don't do Eurovision-esque political point scoring: that's how you win Come Dine with Me.
In fact, fuck it, I'm entering. Pass the peri-peri...
Click here for more stories about TV & Film
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook