Dear lord Jane, what a sad little life. Even if you’ve never seen the show you’ve probably seen one of the many iconic moments from Come Dine with Me. Whether it’s the snide British humour or the sometimes horrific food served up by people on the show, it’s clear why Come Dine With Me has become a staple of British television. So before I get into the list properly here is some history about the show.
Come Dine With Me first debuted in 2005 on Channel 4 and is currently in its 53rd season. Now not only is that kind of mad but it shows just how much of a staple it has become in terms of British TV. So for the few who have never seen the show, what is it about? Well it sees a group of British people get together for dinner at the others houses in a bid to try and win a £1,000 cash prize. Now that sounds like a good bonding experience doesn’t it? Except you’ve also got to take into account the fact contestants can often give their competitors low scores in order to ensure they can win that prize. This allows for some wonderful combinations of people often going mental over some incredibly trivial things. So without further ado, let’s get into the best episodes of the show.
10: Stoke, Jane Bagley (S1, E1)
Kicking off the list of the best Come Dine with Me episodes is the first ever episode. Now what makes it so good? Well firstly it sets the template for the rest of the madness that would follow on Come Dine with Me. Next, it sees a part time opera diva, Jane, trying to set the bar high with her night. However ultimately her obsession with lists might have cost her. Naturally cooking for three strangers is probably going to cause you some stress. And yeah especially given how judging contestants can be it’s hardly surprising that Jane struggled.
9: Cardiff, Giovanni (S43, E14)
Now if you’re thinking this is the episode with Claire from Cardiff, then you’re absolutely right. And don’t worry we will touch on her later. Anyway, despite criticising everyone else when they used store bought ingredients, it then comes back to haunt him when he uses store bought pasta. Shock and Horror. Oh and also the fact he called out Claire’s steaks whilst his weren’t that great either makes this episode a brilliant one. Oh and also the fact that he and Charlotte spend the entire time verbally sparring whilst the others just watch the chaos unfold is brilliant. Overall a very good episode.
8: Stoke, Father Lucifer Williams (S1, E5)
Now besides having an incredible name, this priest from Stoke probably should have prayed for good luck in all honesty. Why do I say this? Well the three women who also make up the group are very excitable and he can barely handle them. But also his cooking skills are definitely something because he seems to be a bit like Basil Fawlty in the kitchen. Now that is definitely not great for the people he’s cooking for but for the viewers it clearly provides boundless entertainment.
7: Essex, June Tedaldi (S2, E7)
Now on the surface June seems to have picked a very good menu featuring asparagus, sea bass and an apricot tart. That sounds lovely…. until you realise it’s the same menu as the previous night’s host. And yes this goes full Come Dine with Me when June overcooks the asparagus causing a massive kick off. Damn, this so why we love Come Dine with Me because such trivial issues become full on arguments and the audience probably wouldn’t have it any other way.
6: Devon, Tina (S42, E1)
Now we’ve seen lots of lazy Come Dine with Me contestants but Tina really has to be up there. Why do I say this? Well, mostly because of her attempts at cooking. Now, instead of just cooking rice from scratch, she just microwaved the store bought rice. While that isn’t necessarily so bad, it’s the fact she got so defensive about doing it thus ruining any chances of getting points for hosting. Though this does lead to your funny Come Dine with Me argument so I guess it’s all good then. But seriously she then walks out in a later part so maybe Tina wasn’t the best person to consult on this.
5: Somerset, All in One (S37, E2)
Coming up at the halfway point of the best Come Dine with Me episodes is Somerset All in One. Now what makes this episode so good? Well frankly the combination of competitors. Firstly we have Sue who cooks something that can’t possibly be good enough for a dinner party: burgers and chips. Shocking behaviour frankly… anyway fellow contestant Myles doesn’t fare any better with his menu. What does he do? He feeds Nick a prawn despite the fact he’s got a seafood allergy so that was never going to help him win the prize. Though poor Nick doesn’t fare much better with his outing with his fancy French cuisine. So all around this is a very lucky episode for everyone.
4: London, Bruce Mainwaring (S1, E7)
Just because it was the first series doesn’t mean there weren’t some great episodes. Cause in point Episode 7 of Series 1. This featured Bruce Mainwaring, terrific name there, trying to use his massive bachelor pad and huge wine cellar to win the night. Alas he forgets that you have to actually cook somewhat well and you can just imagine how many basic errors he makes. Oh and if that didn’t kill Bruce’s chances of winning then fellow contestant Meena manages to upstage his chances of winning for hosting. So honestly poor Bruce never stood a chance.
3: Manchester All in One (S37, E4)
Now here we have another all in one Come Dine with Me episode which is just as good as Somerset’s outing. What makes it so good? Well let’s start with the back to back failures when it comes to Mexican themed nights. Firstly, Chris tries to innovate with a Nacho Pie which doesn’t necessarily go well. However that’s nothing compared to the following Mexican night where Regan attempts ribs and nachos. Alas the ribs are burnt and the nachos are soggy so you can imagine how this goes down with the guests. And somehow all of this becomes a patriotic dinner party battle of France and England. So honestly what more can you ask of a Come Dine with Me episode?
2: Cardiff, Claire (S43, E12)
Speaking of Claire, her episode was absolutely manic at times which is what makes Come Dine with Me so good. So what did Claire do? Well apart from serving all of her food on planks instead of plates there was the small matter of her steaks. Now god bless Claire for asking how her guests wanted them cooked because she just cooked them all the same and then did them in the microwave. Now that is pretty weird until you realise that despite cooking her chips three separate ways there was every chance they were still raw. However, her dessert did look very nice to give her some credit because it was probably the most redeeming part of her evening. But seriously we should all aspire to be close to Claire’s energy levels sometimes.
1: East Oxfordshire, All in One (S37, E1)
What else was going to take the top spot on this list? And yes Come Dine with Me fans, this is the episode with Dear Lord Jane, what a sad little life moment so that’s automatically enough to make it the best. Obviously the rest of the episode is stellar as well with Peter and Jane constantly taking snide barbs at each other. Yeah there’s a lot of snide fat jokes so maybe I can understand Peter going slightly over the top with his iconic slapdown. Oh and I suppose there were two other contestants as well but apart from one of them doing a happy themed meal and the other looking like Louis Theroux’s twin brother there isn’t aot to say.
What are your favourite Come Dine with Me episodes? Let me know in the comments below!