In something of a surprise to In The Top One, Come Dine With Me is still very much a thing. Even more bizarrely, wife of Eric, Kat, was competing this week and Wednesday evening saw the airing of the programme in which it was her turn to entertain the other contestants.
After much innuendo and fnarr, fnarring regarding the previous episode's dish of jerk chicken and cock seasoning, the stage was set for the Lichaj household to show us what it was made of. Kat decided to make the whole shebang a race themed evening and all the while a huge cardboard cut out of our Eric oversaw proceedings from the conner of the room with a particularly serious expression, reminiscent of someone who thought they'd selected Maltesers but ended up with a mouthful of Revels.
In a somewhat purely coincidental turn up for the books, fellow contestants, Patricia and Gareth, turned out to be Derby County fans - well, Patricia especially so. All of which added a smidgen of spice to the evening.
The menu was as follows:
Starter: Saddled Up Scallops and Chorizo Salad
Main: Thoroughbred Beef Wellington with dauphinoise potatoes
Dessert: PhotoFinish Apple Crumble with butterscotch ice cream.
Patricia was initially, well actually throughout, quite dismissive of Kat's efforts: "I expected her to be a little more adventurous" was just one barbed utterance. She also felt that the whole evening would be "style over substance." Shots well and truly fired.
There was a bit of tension in the air, epitomised by Patricia telling Lydia to 'Hush" at one stage. Blimey. At this point, Eric (the cardboard one) was summoned to the room to keep a watchful eye...or to wind Patricia up even more - which worked a treat.
On serving the main course, Kat was asked by Gareth to "talk me through the potato and what it is". Maybe Gareth needs to get out more.
The food went down well - lots of clean plates which always bodes well - and the evening culminated in a competitive horse race in the back garden with the contestants bedecked in pantomime horse costumes. Kat came first. Patricia came last.
Kat scored a very healthy 30, just edging into the lead at the midway point and bettering the previous scores of 29 and 26. It's all to play for.
Touchingly, the final credits bumbled along the screen to the accompaniment of "Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen".
We're definitely rooting for Kat to seal a well deserved victory come the end of the week.