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Go Away And Eat Somewhere Else

March 19, 2010

Look at the above picture. Study it. Note the frown and the receding grey hair. Look how the skin seems to fold around the worry lines, and how it looks like the hand would leave an imprint in the cheek if it were to be moved. Look at the eyes. Look deep into the eyes. Feel the pain. Now clear your mind and look beyond the eyes. See the years of burgeoning madness brought on by acute disappointment in the human race.

The picture is of Dave Lamb, the narrator of Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me.

Dave Lamb is not a happy man. His contempt might sound playful when you watch Come Dine With Me and hear his voice, but he has you fooled. What you don’t see as he sarcastically bemoans Julie from Scunthorpe’s cooking skill is him sat wide-eyed in the voice-over booth, tears streaming down his face, desperately scraping at his arm with a butter knife. When a contestant under-cooks their risotto it makes him sad. When they half-ass their vegetarian dish he gets a chronic headache. When somebody uses ready-made puff pastry he gets an inch closer to a full nervous breakdown.

Dave Lamb can’t quit his job as the voice of a popular daytime TV show, no matter how much he hates it. It would be career suicide. What he needs is an outlet for this pent-up frustration or he risks a very gory implosion. Here are two suggestions for Channel 4, and they both involve Come Dine With Me changing its format slightly.

Suggestion 1: Have the narration take place live from in the same room as the contestants. It would be like water torture; a constant drip of put downs. By the end of the week the contestants would be mentally exhausted and, after a few months of counseling, probably better people as a result.

Suggestion 2: Schedule the show after the watershed so Dave can really spew vitriol on the contestants. When Julie from Scunthorpe says “Ooh won’t this banoffee pudding be lovely”, and Dave says “Well no”, what he really wants to say is “Die! Just DIE, Julie from Scunthorpe. I hate you. You don’t deserve to live. I’d rather eat the rotting flesh off your haggard face than have to put that turd of a dish anywhere near my mouth. I hate your cooking. I hate the way you talk. I hate the way you dress. I hate your family and friends. I hate your childhood pets. You are a speck of dust on a dying planet. You are less than nothing.” Just let him say this, for his own health.

Channel 4’s action is urgently required or soon we’ll have a rogue narrator on the loose, coming to all our houses and criticising the way we make food.

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