A TAROT card reader, a book dealer, a support worker, a lettings manager and a farmer from Salisbury have cooked up a storm in the hope of winning £1,000 on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me.
The amateur cooking competition was filmed in Salisbury in June and the five episodes will be aired next week.
Jane Arnold, 50, Chris Hiller, 29, Anthony Brown-Hovelt, 57, Natasha Conti, 23, and Sophie McConnell, 27, were chosen from thousands of applicants to take part.
The first night was spent at Miss Conti’s house in East Gomeldon where there was a summer fete theme and she cooked a feast using locally sourced ingredients.
“It was a really, really good experience – I would definitely do it again,”
On the second night, the contestants headed to Cholderton Charlie’s Farm, where farm manager Miss McConnell entertained them with a pig race.
She said: “I only found out I was going to be on it four days before. My evening was brilliant, everybody really enjoyed it and there was a good teambuilding effort.”
Self-confessed penny-pincher Mr Hiller, from Fugglestone Red, appeared on the show thanks to a friend who sent in the application on his behalf. “I wasn’t your typical diehard cook, it would be fair to say,” he said. “I try to save a bit here and there and I only spent about £20 on my night. The best thing about it was getting free food and drink for a week to be honest,” he said.
Former army major and Wilton councillor Mr Brown-Hovelt hosted his evening at his home in Wilton and cooked his guests a dish from Uzbekistan.
He said: “I think it says something about south Wiltshire that you can get such a diverse group of people and all get on so well when you look at what a misery some of the shows can be.”
The final night saw the guests enjoy an evening of summer celebration at book dealer Ms Arnold’s home in Lower Bemerton.
She said she thinks she was chosen as she is “somebody with a real mixture of jobs and interests”.
“It was amazingly good fun,” said Ms Arnold, who runs Kiss the Book from her home. “It was just doing something completely and utterly different from everyday life. We have stayed friends and we meet up regularly.”
The contestants say they have promised to remain good friends whatever is shown when the programme is aired next week.
The show will be aired from Monday to Friday at 5.30pm on Channel 4.