Who's Doing the Dishes?



Brian McFadden


ITV Studios for ITV, 1 September 2014 to 14 October 2016 (90 episodes in 3 series)


Brian McFadden leads four people into unknown territory. This gang of courageous adventurers has but one task: discern the name of their host.

To help work out who is cooking their meal, the players are allowed to snoop around the cook's house, where they see some clues laid out. The titles of the dishes may also give clues. At the end of the meal, an identity is offered. The team gets £500 (between them) if they've given the right answer.

Brian McFadden with Nick Hancock.

On the surface, this is a thin programme. It stretches a three-course meal and discussion into a full hour's television. There's no chance for the viewer to join in the guessing - the day's celebrity is shown at the start of the show, and almost every moment thereafter.

This blend of Come Dine with Me and Through the Keyhole isn't to everyone's taste. It's constrained by the restricted "celebrity" available on an ITV daytime budget, and the cash prize is almost derisory.

The titular dishes.

But it's an imaginative and entertaining programme. The sparse content is leavened by deft editing - visual tricks and the best soundtrack since Banzai make the programme more worth watching. Brian McFadden is a revelation, larking about with the celeb and having a whole lot of fun. This fun comes across through the screen.

At the end of the show, there's one question left hanging. Has the team confused the celebrity with someone else? Because if they have, they don't get the cash prize, and have a pile of crockery to wash up. But a correct answer gives the cash and an opportunity to watch said celeb pull on the rubber gloves and clean the dishes.

Toyah Willcox in a pair of rubber gloves.


The first series went out in the 4pm slot popularised by Tipping Point. Subsequent series went out in the 3pm slot.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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