Passion for Chocolate



Come Dine With Me
Five Days with ITV/Channel 4

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The Establishing shots

Monday was Day One and the 'establishing shots had to be done. Like every 'Reality' TV programme, when you apply, they immediately 'stereo-type' you or pigeon-hole you. Judging from what they wanted from me - they thought I was a practical joker and loved fancy dress parties (how right they were!)

We met at 9:00am at Joker's Corner - a Fancy dress shop in Coventry. During the week we had three directors and three film crews each day. On this first day I had Mel (BAFTA award winner for "One Born Every Minute" documentary programme).

  Cameraman in Joke Store  

Mel (who has a GREAT sense of humour and great vision) got me to dress-up in five-six costumes and 'act' in front of the camera: Growling like a bear, rubbing a magical lantern like Ali Baba, snarling "aaah, Jim Lad" as a Pirate...and gesticulating as Mr. Potato head. The rest were too embarrassing to say the least - even for me!

These shots were to be used at the beginning of the programme to show 'the character I am'!


With filming finished in Coventry, back to our house in Kenilworth.

When a programme like this enters your home, your home appears not to be yours any more! The crew move chairs, settees, tables and everything in the way to get their set right.

They take pictures, photographs, mirrors and everything else from your walls. Your 'familiar' surroundings look as if you have just moved into a new house! Bizarre.

Film set-day one
  Window reflectors - one   Window reflectors - two
To stop unwanted reflections and the contrast between inside light and out side day light (the luminosity) reflectors were placed on the outside lounge windows. From the 'inside' you would not tell they were there.
  Setting the microphone levels   Getting it all ready
  Ready to film the interview for day one   The small set
The Interview took place. Mel asked all manner of embarrassing and awkward questions.
The Director's view

More establishing shots - of the work I do.

Quyestions about The Chocolate Fountain

  Setting the Chocolate Fountain scene

"What chocolate do you use? "How long have you been a professional Chocolatier?" "What sorts of functions do you attend?"
The barrage of questions came like a ranging torrent!
Filming started at 9:00am in Coventry, moved on to Kenilworth and we finally finished at approximately 4:45pm
  Taxi Picking me up for CDWM - day one   Taxi setting off with me  -day one of Come Dine With Me

The taxi arrived dead-on 5:00pm to take me to the first dinner party.

As in all these programmes, the contestants are local and live within 10-15 taxi ride. At 5:10pm we arrived at the first dinner party house. At this point I did not know WHO the other contestants were, whether they were male or female, vegetarian or carnivorous, how old they were or the type of character there were. Exciting!


Dinner Party ONE - more