The first episode of the Irish version of Come Dine With Me aired last night on TV3. I love the UK and Australian versions of Come Dine With Me – but the Irish version was a bit like car-crash TV. Dave Lamb did a wonderful job as the voice-over, and the production values were as high as the versions produced overseas.
But – oh dear – the guests! In case you haven’t noticed, Irish people don’t do dinner parties. As a rule – and, yes, I know there will be exceptions to that rule – Irish people rarely extend or accept invitations to dinner. This perplexes and frustrates me; having a meal in someone’s home is a great way to relax, unwind and get to know your friends/neighbours better – or to be introduced to new people.
As we don’t seem to do the whole dinner party thing here, the attitude and comments of the host and guests on last night’s Come Dine With Me was hardly a surprise.
‘Fucking vegetarians!’ the host was heard to cry when he burnt the pine nuts he was meant to be gently toasting.
‘Let them go off and eat grass!’ another guest pronounced on the subject of vegetarians.
Sadly, the ignorance and intolerance in evidence was nothing I hadn’t come across before. Mind you, the token vegetarian in the group did nothing to endear herself to her fellow diners. She was an obnoxious aggressive woman who gave vegetarians a bad name.
‘It looks like poo,’ she said of the meal the other diners were about to tuck in to.
The diners were rude to, and about, each other – but it made for compelling telly, even if it doesn’t present Irish people in a good light. So you can bet your next meal that I’ll be glued to it again tonight!