“It was one of the best things that I have ever done and I have no regrets. There wasn’t a single part I didn’t enjoy and I made four fantastic new friends.”
Those are the words of Peter Pickering, from Flore, who took part in the popular Channel 4 daytime Come Dine With Me - and went on to win the £1,000 prize.
The funeral services manager said it was a long wait to get in front of the camera to then being on the set.
Peter said: “I applied to go on the show five years ago and got nowhere. I thought the chance had gone, but then I had a telephone call asking if I was still interested,”
From there, he went through three stages before getting to go on the show, completing an application form, a 45-minute interview and then filming at his home in Spring Lane.
Peter said: “I was then asked if I could I get time off at short notice and found out I was one of the final five about a week before we did the filming in February.”
From there, he served a three-course 1920s-style dinner party to three guests. A starter of salmon terrine, slow roasted pork belly with bramley apple mash and a dessert of white chocolate and marmalade bread and butter pudding. Musician Fiona Harrison sang vintage songs as his entertanment.
Peter said: “On the day when they filmed my episode, the cameras arrived at my house at 8.15am, and they left at 2.45am the following day. I only got a 45-minute break throughout the day. It was the most exhausting day of my life.
“One of the things I didn’t realise is that I had to do everything twice, so cooking two starters, main courses and puddings.”
But Peter is not jaded despite the gruelling day.
He said: “I had a great time, all of us got on so well. There was no tension or conflict. All of us guests said to each other, if the producers were looking for conflict, they couldn’t have made a worse choice because we all got on.
“Since it has been on, family and friends who I have spoken to have said how refreshing it was to see all the contestants getting on.
“We have all stayed in touch since the filming even though it is nine months later.”
He was also thrilled to win the show as well.
Peter said: “It was very humbling and emotional because everybody was so lovely and we all got on so well.
“I have had a huge number of messages from family and friends saying congratulations and also saying how well I come across. It was a very special time.”
When asked if he would do it again, Peter said: “Absolutely, without question.”