Pithy asides, a hysterical host ... it's Come Dine With Me
I spent most of the Bank Holiday weekend entertaining -- dinners, a barbecue, a Sunday lunch ... so by the time Monday came along, I was ready to let someone else take over. Perfect timing, then, that TV3 was screening the first episode of their Irish series of Come Dine With Me last night.
In truth, I thought the quintet from Cork did well in this first night of five. It helped that the same production company that did the British show filmed the Irish series.
Complete with the same opening credits and, of course, with David Lamb, the brilliantly dry voiceover guy who's made CDWM the huge success that it is.
And he was certainly on form last night; plenty of pithy asides, always bettering even the most sarcastic remarks those at home might mutter from the sofa. This episode showed promise. I already dislike Louisa the vegetarian.
She seems to say "Oh My God" to everything and is permanently out to criticise. Vicky the jewellery designer comes across as nicer, but equally hysterical.
Helena the pony club woman, will be interesting when she takes the reins hosting tonight, I feel she's feisty, and the one who'll rock the boat.
Meanwhile, young Jamie with his check shirts already seemed a little out of his depth.
David, last night's host, acquitted himself well. His country house looked interesting, with animals wandering inside and out.
Obviously an experienced entertainer, he cooked up a storm (in wellies), had smart John Rocha Waterford crystal and old silver entree dishes; as he said himself, "it's nice to have all your bits out if you have them".
His guests were relatively well behaved, but, of course, it was only night one, and there's four more for the facades to crack, as they inevitably do on this show.
But there are a few things about Come Dine With Me that always annoy me.
Like, in reality, who goes to someone's home to spend the time before dinner snooping in their host's bedroom, opening drawers and rooting through wardrobes?
If someone did that in my gaff, they'd never be invited back. I know it may be part of the show's format, but I think it's stupid.
Equally, I think if I was invited for a meal and then had to wait while my host did more than just a few finishing touches in the kitchen, I'd lose the will to live.
Still, Come Dine With Me has struck such a chord, it's encouraged people to entertain more at home.
So rather than waiting until we're all grown-up, we should eat, drink and be merry now, and possibly expect our guests to rate us out of ten afterwards.
Read Pat Stacey's verdict: Page 35