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Episode of Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me featuring Great Yarmouth’s Ben Melhado and Norwich’s Donna Africa to be aired on Valentine’s Day

PUBLISHED: 11:03 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:52 08 February 2017

Shop Local feature with Ben Melhado from Junx Clothing, Yarmouth.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Shop Local feature with Ben Melhado from Junx Clothing, Yarmouth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A Great Yarmouth businessman has declared himself a cookery convert after appearing on hit dinner party show Come Dine With Me.

Donna Africa, dressed as a Zulu warrior,  has auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in the past. Picture Adrian Judd.Donna Africa, dressed as a Zulu warrior, has auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in the past. Picture Adrian Judd.

Businessman Ben Melhado said it was the first time he had ever dished up anything for more than two people and that now he was hooked.

The Channel 4 programme sees four strangers cook up a feast in their own homes in the hope of winning high scores from their guests and a chance to scoop a £1000 prize.

With hosts judged as much for their conversation as their culinary prowess there was plenty at stake when the contestants entertained on four consecutive nights last summer.

The episode is being aired on Valentines Day, February 14 at 5pm, leading to suggestions that romance could be in the air among some of those at the table.

Mr Melhado, who faced a social media backlash when he poured water on street entertainer Puppet Man’s stereo in July 2015, said he was approached by the programme makers and jumped at the chance.

The 33-year-old of High Street, Gorleston, said the whole experience was “really exciting,” adding: “There’s a lot more goes into putting together a show like that together than I thought.”

“I was just myself,” he said. “I was always prepared to get some stick for doing it. Hopefully my friends and family will find it as funny as I did. It was the first meal I have cooked for more than two people in my life and now I have become quite a keen chef.”

Also appearing are a book printer from Halesworth, an equestrian from Beccles and Norwich model, poet and actress Donna Africa.

Ms Africa, whose real name is Donna Thompson, has previously appeared on a number of TV shows, including X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent on ITV, Channel 4’s Four Rooms, Channel 5’s On Benefits and was also part of the closing ceremony at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Mr Melhado, who owns Junx Clothing in Great Yarmouth, said he planned to watch the show with a group of friends at home.

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