From First Dates to the Great British Bake Off, we have a sneaky obsession with reality television; so, naturally, it goes without saying that we’re fans of Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me, too.
The premise is simple; four budding amateur chefs compete against one another, each hosting a dinner party for their fellow contestants. Their guests-come-rivals then go away and secretly rate (aka slate) the evening – and, at the end of the week, the scores are announced and the winner awarded a cool £1,000.
In the past, contestants have stormed out , chucked wine all over one another, and had some serious meltdowns.
However, in an unprecedented move for the long-running programme, a contestant was recently removed from the show halfway through.
Without any explanation whatsoever.
Rory Nicoll had taken part in two nights of the Central Scotland edition of the show, even hosting his own dinner party for his fellow contestants.
However, after the (admittedly) very tense evening at his home, commentator Dave Lamb told fans watching that Rory had been removed from the competition – and would not be returning.
It was a mystery akin to an Agatha Christie; where was Rory? What had happened that fateful night in Scotland? Had he been cooked into a pie by one of his fellow contestants? And why, oh why, was Channel 4 refusing to tell us anything?
Incensed fans soon stormed Twitter and began making demands; they wanted answers, or, failing that, Rory’s immediate reinstatement (because, bless them, they failed to realise that the episodes had been filmed well in advance; guys, Come Dine With Me isn’t live).
One even confessed to submitting an actual Freedom of Information request.
Now, at last, the Rory mystery has been solved.
Speaking to Dumfermline Press, Jennifer – aka the first host – explained: “I loved meeting the others, and me and my husband are going along to one of their 40th birthdays. There was a bit of a drama, though, and a first on the show.
“On the first night, everybody came to mine, and on the second night the host had a bit of an argument with the other gentleman… the producer said if the host didn’t apologise, he would get kicked off the show.”
It doesn’t take Hercule Poirot to figure out that Rory chose not to apologise, and so got the boot.
Events became very tense during Rory’s final episode when contestants began debating that age-old question: which member of Take That is the most talented?
Rory, somewhat bizarrely, had very strong opinions on the matter; in his world, Gary Barlow rules supreme.
So, when someone dared to suggest that Robbie Williams was, in fact, the better artist, the furious diner took it upon himself to fight Barlow’s corner.
As things got more and more heated, a fellow diner was forced to step in and beg the men to calm down – and dinner proceeded as normal.
Well, almost as normal; it’s safe to say that Rory was given incredibly low scores by all of his guests, who blamed the awkward atmosphere for their decision.
As fights go, the Barlow vs Williams debate really wasn’t the most explosive argument to ever occur on Come Dine With Me.
So it makes sense that Channel 4, when approached for a comment, explained that this wasn’t the moment which triggered Rory’s removal from the show.
As a matter of fact, the erstwhile contestant had become embroiled in an embittered exchange of words away from the cameras – and it was this which led to his getting the boot.
“After incidents that happened away from the dinner party, Rory was removed from the competition,” they said.
Right. So that clears up that mystery, then.
Now we just have one final question…