Televison diners compete for �1,000

IT has become infamous for its scenes of petty squabbling at the dinner table and snobbish snoops around people's homes.

And tonight there will be some extra local interest for fans of the hit Channel Four programme Come Dine With Me as two men from the Lowestoft area, and a woman from Southwold, vie for the title of best chef and host.

Lowestoft businessman Jim Godfrey, who owns the town's LR Godfreys Department Store, sales director Paul Emery, from Carlton Colville, and Southwold author Janet Gershlick, all feature in tonight's programme as they go head to head, along with Jo Jo Smith, from Fressingfield, near Eye, in competition for the �1,000 prize.

Millions of viewers will see the competitors discuss UFOs, become agony aunts, go berserk for pork and dress up as 1970s pop stars as they visit each other homes for dinner over the course of a week.

And unlike previous episodes, the four diners appear to avoid any major rows or embarrassing squabbles.

Mr Godfrey, who dressed up as singer David Essex as he hosted a 1970s themed night, had one major hurdle to overcome during the filming – his lack of cooking skills.

But despite his poor knowledge of getting around his own kitchen and burning the odd ingredient he manages to impress his guests with a bruschetta starter, a fish main course and cake for dessert.

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Mr Godfrey, who is described by Channel Four as 'Lowestoft's answer to ex-Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed', said: 'I cannot cook for toffee, but I enjoyed it. It was a very tiring week though... We all got on well.'

In slightly bizarre scenes Mrs Smith, who owns the holiday property Widgeham Barn in Fressingfield, is portrayed as a UFO-hunting vegetarian. As well as discussing her theories on alien abduction, she serves her own special cocktail the UFO – the Unidentified Fizzing Object.

Mrs Smith said: 'It went fabulously especially when I served my cocktails in the garden. We all gelled very well and had great fun.'

Janet Gershlick, who has written books on Southwold's beach huts, benches and pier, can be seen on the programme acting as an agony aunt as she serves up eastern European treats which the guests unfortunately find a bit stodgy.

The youngest of the group, Carlton Colville sales director Paul Emery is then seen scoffing his way though a mound of pork he has cooked as his two female guests do not eat pork. He then ends up entertaining the group with a drum solo.

Come Dine with Me is on C4 at 8pm this evening.