HIT TV show Come Dine with Me has returned to East Lancashire, with hilarious antics on view all next week.
Would-be chefs from Blackburn and Burnley will be seen pitted against each other in a bid to scoop the £1,000 prize.
Nigel Womack, owner of Nigel’s Cutting Shop in Blackburn town centre, entertained at his house in Copster Green.
The 58-year-old cooked a menu of aphrodisiacs, including oysters, truffle bruscettas and coddled eggs, steak, and semi-freddo with caramelised figs, to “seduce the crew and viewers”.
He said: “It was a fantastic experience, but was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
“They film 15 hours a day, and you don’t go to bed before 3.30am. People have asked me why all the contestants look shattered half way through, and that’s why.
“When it was my turn to cook, the film crew arrived at 8am and nobody left until 7am the next morning.
“I wasn’t given a chance to eat or shower, and when they went, my house looked like someone had invaded it.”
He added: “There’s also a long delay between meals, with the crew taking food away for half-an-hour after it’s cooked.
“When you get it, the hot stuff’s gone cold and the cold stuff’s warm, and it’s all congealed. I’ve had two ex-wives who could burn water, so I have a tough stomach, but I took my Rennies along to every meal.”
Jenna Tattersall, 27, of Lingmoor Drive, Burnley, runs First European Logistics in Liverpool Road.
She chose a menu of stuffed courgettes, seabass with garlic potatoes, and white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry mousse.
She said: “It was all great fun and everyone got on, though the production team tried to get us to argue.
“They tried to get some Blackburn and Burnley football rivalry going, but none of us were that interested in football, so it didn’t work.”
She added: “It was very tiring and with owning my own company, I had to go to work inbetween filming. When I cooked, they were in my house for 19 hours just to make a 30 minute show.
Vicki Fairbrother, 31, a teaching assistant of Johnson Street, Blackburn, cooked “homely food” including sticky ribs, steak and chips, and a banoffee cake.
She was persuaded to enter by staff at Whittaker’s Butchers in Blackburn Market, and believes she made the show because she ‘can’t stop talking’.
She said: “It was tiring, but really, really good.
“Some of the food was horrible, but to be honest, you’re that hungry during the night that you’d pretty much eat anything.”
Other contestants include perfectionist Chris Slater from Whalley who creates a spicy meal and 21-year-old Chelsea Symcox from Livesey Branch Road, Blackburn, who goes for a Mediterranean theme.
All five have since been out for a meal together and plan to meet up again in February.