Guess who's coming to dinner?

A BUTCHER, a former landlady, an insurance broker, a caf� worker and a musical mad matron - all from Ipswich - are set to appear on TV next week.The group's culinary skills are put under the spotlight as Channel Four's Come Dine With Me programme features a group of contestants from the town.

A BUTCHER, a former landlady, an insurance broker, a caf� worker and a musical mad matron - all from Ipswich - are set to appear on TV next week.

The group's culinary skills are put under the spotlight as Channel Four's Come Dine With Me programme features a group of contestants from the town.

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said: “Every week five strangers, who reckon they are a dab hand at entertaining, take it in turns to throw a dinner party in their own personal style.

“But this is a feast with a twist, after each dinner, the guests secretly score the host a mark out of ten.

“The food and the atmosphere are taken into account when scoring. And at the week's end, the top-scoring chef wins �1,000 in cash.”

The group includes, former landlady Zoe Condon, Angie Robertson - a member of Felixstowe theatre group Stage Door, Barry Davis, Lisa Quinton and Gerard King - a butcher at the Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead Road.

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Mr King's fellow butchers at the Suffolk Food Hall said audiences should prepare themselves for entertainment from their larger-than-life friend, whose cooking idol is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Chris Barnes said: “Gerard cooks using really good-quality meat. His idea is very much that if you have good meat you do not need to do much to it.

“There will definitely be a strong meaty element to his cooking. Gerard is definitely a carnivore.”

John Graham said his colleague had pledged to cook the entire meal from the Suffolk Food Hall's fresh produce as an extra challenge.

He said: “That typified Gerard because he is prepared to put himself up to be shot down. He loves creating things, like venison and cranberry sausages, but is also a great ambassador for the old things like mutton.

“He has a very serious side to him but he is extremely light-hearted and a very flamboyant character. I think he took a degree of ribbing for being on the show but we all admire him for it.”

Former landlady Zoe is the first to entertain the group during a half hour show due to be screened on Monday .

The spokeswoman added: “All the contestants think they know exactly what makes the perfect dinner party, but with a big prize at stake, the competition is fierce and the heat is on.

“In the first day of the competition in Ipswich former pub landlady Zoe Condon will welcome four strangers in her house in a bid to be crowned host with the most, and win the prize.

“Zoe, top entertainer from her years behind the bar as a landlady, plans only to cook with the best local ingredients. “Later in the night, she makes the guests take part in a computer game tournament - with mixed results.

The show is on Channel 4 every evening from Monday 26 to 31 at 5.30pm to 6pm.”

Are you a fan of Come Dine With Me? What do you think of the show? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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