There’s been everything from tears, tantrums and a lot of food over 14 years of Come Dine With Me.
The show’s premise is simple – four strangers based in a similar area host one another for dinner parties over consecutive nights in an attempt to win £1,000 – with their fellow diners grading their efforts.
There are many reasons why we love it, from Dave Lamb’s hilarious put downs to questions about whether everything has been "freshly made from scratch" – and half the time it’s definitely not.
But those who have worked on the show for years have told the Daily Mail’s You magazine that things can get pretty "intense" behind the scenes, as the competitive edge of some of the contestants can really take over.
(Image: PUBLICITY PIC)
(Image: Dave King Photography)
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Executive producer Rachel Bloomsdale told the magazine: "Everyone thinks that they know what they’d do if they were on the show. But the reality is you’ve got a camera crew in your kitchen, you’re under pressure and you know you’re going to be scored by a bunch of strangers.
"It all becomes much more intense than you can ever imagine."
Series producer Henry Hainault also had some favourite characters on the show, adding: "We’ve had many great characters. There was a guy in Salisbury called Chris who served peppers stuffed with baked beans and watered down everyone’s wine to save money.
(Image: Channel 4/Come Dine With Me)
(Image: Channel 4)
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"A lady in Cumbria, Katy [also the first female winner of One Man and His Dog], had a shepherding display as her entertainment."
One contestant, Robert Johnston, has rvealed some of the surprising tricks of the show, including that there is actually only one cab which drives them "in circles" so they can say their piece, before they have to make their own way home.
He said: "The catch with reality TV is that the producers believe that for the format to work they have to create tension and feuds. And they may well be right. Five people sitting around a table having a civilised dinner probably wouldn’t make compelling watching.
(Image: Daily Record)
(Image: Channel 4)
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"Most of all reality TV looks to create baddies. And their favourite sort of baddie is a posh one."
He said he felt the makers of the show tried to create the tension and, when he would not "play along," they chose two other diners between whom to "whip up a feud."
Robert also said he has not watched the show since as he found it an "unpleasant experience."
Come Dine With Me airs Mondays – Fridays during the day on Channel 4.
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