Come Dine With Me is the Channel 4 cooking programme where would be culinary experts compete against complete strangers in their area for a £1,000 prize. The contestants each stage one dinner party in their homes, serving up food that they’ve cooked themeslves (usually, as some cheating does go on) to be judged by the other contestants on marks out of ten. The contestant with the highest score at the end of the week secures the £1,000 cash prize.
The programme works well for Channel 4 because it combines the nation’s love of cookery programmes with reality TV, as the contestants each week are always made up from a varied mix of society. You’ll often get your posh, flash car driving toff mixing it with a tracksuit clad, jewellery adorned council estate resident. These real life mismatches make up most of the show’s charm, as one person’s idea of a dinner party is often another person’s idea of hell.
As the show has become more popular, and would be dinner party aficionados from areas such as London, Wilmslow in Manchester and Ellesmere Port in the Wirral compete for the show’s prize, many more people have set up their own ‘Come Dine With Me’ styled dinner party competitions outside of the show.
To capitalise on this success, and to further promote the brand, Channel 4 is set to utilise the power of social networking and create a Facebook Application that will allow people to set up their own dinner parties and invite guests. The App will most likely also allow for menus to be created and shared between the guests, as happens on the TV show itself.
Channel 4 and Granada (the creators of the show) are set to work together to spec out the Facebook App before it is actually commissioned. The news, leaked by Channel 4, shows the channel’s dedication to harnessing the latest technologies in a bid to advertise its shows and to reach new audiences.