Come Dine With Me lets people invite strangers into their home for a shared dinner party. The person picking up the best score from their opponents wins a £1,000 cash prize.
The programme has run in two distinct formats over the years, either in shorter episodes with five contestants or longer episodes with only four.
The five contestant series showed one contestant per day in 30-minute episodes, where viewers would get to see the preparation, delivery and aftermath of one dinner party in each episode. At the end of the episode the contestants would score their experience and await their next dinner invitation.
The new series, in a more popular format, sees everything delivered to the viewer in a single hour long episode. Each dinner party takes place in a shorter, 10 minute segment, with less focus on the cooking and more on the interaction between the contestants, and at the end of the hour the final scores are totted up and the host for that evening has to present the £1,000 cash prize to the winner.
Originally a show about cooking, Come Dine With Me has developed into more of a social, fly on the wall show, exploring how people react to the pressure of their dinner party preparations -quite frequently under the influence of a lot of alcohol.
The show can get rude and crude as the more competitive guests try to do their rivals down – and watch out for the scenes where guests rummage in the underwear drawers of their hosts.
The series has also seen a number of celebrity episodes, including a 2010 episode featuring the cast of BBC TV’s Dragons Den preparing a meal for each other.