Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

‘Come Dine With Me’ like Lamb(s) to the slaughter

Come Dine With Me South Africa on the BBC Entertainment network, part of the DStv package, is undoubtedly the funniest show on television and this is down to the fact that its narrator, David Lamb from Sussex in England, delivers razor sharp commentary on everything and anything the contestants get up to.

The 42-year-old Englishman, who studied philosophy and literature at Warwick University, seems to have an innate ability to extract words or traits from individuals appearing on a show and then turn them into an ongoing theme with hysterical results.

Lamb is the show, which first began on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom in January 2005.

His incredible sarcasm, which can only be compared to that of Rowan Atkinson or John Cleese, but better, has seen the show grow from its humble beginnings in England to similar programmes in more than 30 countries with the English version now well in excess of 800 episodes.

The South African version, like England, is blessed with the talents of Lamb as its narrator.

What makes the show special for me is the fact that it achieves nation-building despite the fact that this is not its intended purpose.

While many point to sports and political speeches as a form of nation-building, they do not take the people of this country into the homes of their fellow South Africans in the way that Come Dine With Me does.

Black, white, Indian, coloured, gay, straight, religious, atheist or whatever else you are, the show shines the spotlight and highlights parts of your life which gives other people real insight into where you are coming from.

Interestingly, from the people I have spoken to, support for contestants crosses racial lines and sees the amateur chefs as people who are South Africans rather than representative of a group or race.

People love or hate individuals not what he or she could represent.

While politicians are doing their best to undo all the brilliant work undertaken by Madiba in getting rid of racism along comes a show from England and assists in undoing a lot of that damage.

South African broadcasters should take a leaf out of their book and try to create programmes which bring South Africans of all races into each other’s homes.

That will do more for nation-building and in creating awareness of the plight of others than anything the politicians do.

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