ASPIRING domestic gods and goddesses from across the Black Country battled it out on TV show Come Dine With Me for a chance to win £1,000.
Kingswinford businesswoman Sarah Freeman, Quarry bank based dog groomer Vicky Pell, ukulele-playing Sedgley pensioner Di Dawson, pub quiz host Adam Reece from Kingswinford and Tipton banker Mandeep Rajput showcased their culinary skills while taking it in turns to host a dinner party on the popular Channel 4 show.
Mandeep, a 38-year-old dad from Tipton, kicked things off - opting for a traditional Punjabi menu and some Bhangra dancing for his guests.
Former Stourbridge College and Kingswinford School student Adam Reece, a 26-year-old assistant manager at Speedy Cash in Dudley, mixed things up by inviting guests to don pyjamas to taste his Italian-style grub before offering up game-show fun for dessert.
Di Dawson, a 65-year-old former Brierley Hill market trader and member of the Sedgley Strummers ukulele group, opted for some good honest home cooking and civilised conversation only for her best-laid plans to be hijacked by Adam’s racy humour and flirtatious behaviour.
Vicky Pell, who was dubbed the Duchess of Dudley on the show, hoped to make waves with a cruise-ship themed dinner party in Dudley.
While 25-year-old entrepreneur Sarah, who runs borough based meals on wheels business Gourmet Meals, pinned hopes of victory on a Morrocan menu and live music from Stourbridge singer/guitarist Dale Perry.
Five months after being filmed for the show, which brought stress and smiles to the fore, Adam - who runs pub quizzes every Sunday at Wordsley’s Glassworks pub - said he has “no regrets” about taking part despite tensions between himself and Di bubbling away during the production process.
He added: “I’m completely happy with the way it’s been edited and that I stayed true to myself.
“It was such a hectic week but I had such a great time; I’d do it all again.”
Di, who ran a confectionary stall in Brierley Hill’s Concorde Market for ten years, said she “wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” But she said she was “disappointed” about the way she was portrayed, adding: “I did say I didn’t want to see Adam again - that’s true, but due to clever editing I changed from being a spoon-playing pensioner to a bully and a party pooper on the last programme.
“People that really know me know what I’m like. I have high standards and high expectations of people and they put me with Adam because of the entertainment factor.”
Vicky, aged 53, from Mushroom Green, who was voted joint winner with Mandeep, said the mix of characters “gave the programme some spice” and she said: “It was a fabulous experience and fantastic to win but I was more overwhelmed by the week itself than the prizemoney; I was really impressed with everybody’s night.”
Anyone who missed the Dudley bunch on Come Dine With Me can watch the shows on 4oD on wwwchannel4.com