Peter Stringfellow on Come Dine With Me was pure TV gold

Thursday, 7th June 2018, 13:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 13:25 pm

Peter Stringfellow, the legendary nightclub owner, has passed away at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer.

He was best known for his Stringfellow's line of nightclubs, but it's arguable that his most memorable moment came 10 years ago - on a celebrity episode of Come Dine With Me.

Serving up one of the most endearingly disastrous nights in the history of the show, Stringfellow threw everything into his hosting efforts - including, quite literally, the kitchen sink.

The perfect guest?

As the episode opens, things begin inauspiciously enough as we're introduced to our contestants: interior designer and presenter Linda Barker, Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, Lee Ryan from boy band Blue, and Stringfellow himself.

The Lothario wastes no time in expressing his love of being in the kitchen, saying that "with the right food, and some people to cook for, I'm happy."

But it's Linda Barker to step up to the culinary plate first, and when she offers up champagne, Stringfellow enquires about the vintage exactingly.

Though Stringfellow's Champagne snobbery is all delivered with a cheeky, knowing grin, she opts to wrap a napkin around the bottle, and manages to get away with Stringfellow not discovering the Sainsbury's label.

'With the right food, and some people to cook for, I'm happy.' (Photo: Channel 4)

We see Stringfellow opting to help out in his hosts' kitchen between courses, cleaning - somewhat uninvitedly - Barker's plates, and nosing in on Ryan's baked camembert techniques.

Throughout the episode, he's complimentary to those who are providing him a meal, branding Ryan's risotto "probably the best I've eaten" and labelling Heaton's health-conscious starter as "perfect", while his fellow diners lament its blandness.

Tuna with ice cream

Saving the best until last, however, it's Stringfellow's turn, and he beams his way around his swanky London flat as he attempts to cook up a storm for his arriving guests.

"You'd have to be an idiot to ruin tuna that good," he says, slicing an expensive looking fillet, before serving it up with... olive oil ice cream.

It's a dish inspired by "Georgio", an Italian chef with whom Stringfellow seems to be on first-name terms with.

Stringfellow sings and dances his way to greeting his guests at the door (Photo: Channel 4)

"He came over when we were in Majorca and sat down in the restaurant and said 'Peter, try this.' I said, 'hey, amazing!'

But his guests aren't quite convinced, and despite Stringfellow's insistence that "it messes your mind up, you forget what you're used to, and you taste it new", Ryan complains later that "it was like a dessert with fish... it just didn't go."

'I've left the steak in the shop'

Things go from bad to worse rather quickly when Stringfellow tackles his main: pasta with beef fillet.

"What did I do with the steak? Bloody 'ell! I've left the steak in the shop!"

He's straight on the phone, barking orders like something out of a gangster film: "Go to Marylebone Road, go in the shop there and go to the meat counter and go 'Peter Stringfellow left his meat there can he have it now please instantly?"

The steak finally arrives with just half an hour to spare, but all is still not well.

As he greets his guests with a smile and a song, his kitchen sink collapses.

Stringfellow laughs off the fact his sink has just collapsed, before conceding 'Oh my God, of course there's a problem!' (Photo: Channel 4)

Throwing in the kitchen sink

It's the show best moment, the camera crew shrieking in shock as water spills across the tiled floor.

"We can leave that for now, we can live without the sink... I think," says Stringfellow as he tries to keep a cool head.

But he soon concedes that "Oh my God, of course there's a problem!" when he has no way of draining his pasta, improvising a method with a spare pan and leaving his guests waiting without cutlery in the commotion.

He's critiqued harshly and ends up coming in fourth place, but for many watching at home, his adventures in the kitchen revealed a man with a great sense of humour - and an eccentric personality.

The Peter Stringfellow episode of Come Dine With Me is available to watch on All4.

'¢ Have your say on the latest TV and film with Screen Babble, our discussion group on Facebook

[Main image: Channel 4]