Couples Come Dine With Me is certainly one of the crazier things Poppy and I have ever done, and perhaps even crazier that I didn’t do it with Michael, my long term (suffering?!) partner of 12 years.
I teamed up with a lady I met at Discover Dogs and Crufts to highlight that dogs need to eat fresh food just as much as we do. And so, for the first time in the show’s 14 year history, I served contestants on Couples Come Dine With Me dog food! On top of that, before sitting down to a three-course dog food dinner party which I themed (of course) ‘A Dog’s Dinner’, the other diners (in their black-tie and evening wear) were given masks and collars to wear. It was bonkers, beautiful and as mad as a box of frogs… I LOVED IT!
It was also a gruelling three days, every movement being watched and microphones constantly on. Filming didn’t finish until 3:00am and it was incredibly exhausting. At times I questioned why I was doing it as I couldn’t even go for a pee without someone listening!
So why did I do it? Putting myself out there on national TV is an unforgiving space but I wanted to convey the current epidemic the UK is facing with over 50% of dogs classified as obese (many having diabetes or cancer). And it is getting worse. Just as highly-processed foods contribute to human health problems, the same goes for dogs. I thought that through a nationally loved programme such as Come Dine With Me, I could educate dog owners and get the message across that we should be feeding fresh to our four-legged friends and make owners think a bit harder about what they’re feeding. Seeing the show back reminds me of just how much fun we all had.
You might be wondering what the other CCDWM contestants thought of it all. I was using human (and dog) friendly ingredients to prepare the food, but could see they thought the whole concept was just a bit mad. The highlight though was when Kelly and Sam were so taken with Poppy and my fresh feeding message, that they got their own miniature schnauzer (called Minnie) after the show… and they now feed Poppy’s Picnic!
So what’s next… Love Island (ha!) or Mastermind?!
Glad to have met some new friends – the winners Kelly and Sam, with Brian and Mandie
All my love,
Dylan and Poppy x