HE’S the man who gave the world the deep fried mince pie. But Doncaster chip shop boss Martyn Bilby steered clear of the deep fat frier to throw his hat in the ring when he took part in the hit television show Come Dine With Me.
He makes up 20 per cent of the line up for a series of programmes which were shot in Doncaster last year and are being shown every day this week.
The 41-year-old, from Cusworth, lined up against amusement arcade machine company owner Barry Hill, from Harlington, insurance worker Zoe Prince, from Bessacarr, trading standards officer Tracey Hewer from Cantley and Latvian lecturer Signe Jase, from the town centre.
Zoe hosted the first of the evenings, which is shown tonight, with an Italian themed menu. Martyn was the host on Tuesday with his Swan Lake signature dish - a chocolate éclair swan on a blue jelly lake.
And on Wednesday, Tracey tried to impress the others with her cup cakes, while Signe tried to introduce Latvian cuisine to South Yorkshire.
On Friday Barry tried to impress his guests with a magician, a celebrity butler and a dip in his pool.
Martyn said: “I was tempted to do the old deep fried mince pies, but it was filmed before Christmas, and mince pies weren’t available like there were when I did them in my chip shop at Christmas. I really enjoyed it, and I got quite pally with a couple of the others. Barry was fantastic. I think I will stay in touch with two of them, but perhaps not the other two.
“There’s more to me than fish and chips, although I’ve had quite a few chip shops. But I did go to college to train as a chef - I don’t know if that is an advantage or a disadvantage on the programme.
“But it was fantastic fun. Now I want to go on and try to get on Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen programme.”
Barry’s local pub, the Harlington Inn, is backing the 52-year-old on the show and will hold daily screenings of the programme, which is on at 5pm each day this week.
Tracy, aged 42, said she had never watched the programme before appearing on it and had been put forward by a friend.
She said: “All the week was an absolute giggle. It was a really long day doing it though, and the earliest I got home was 4.30am. The latest was 7.30am, and my husband, who is a postman, had already gone to work. I’m still in touch with Zoe - we meet up every week and I think we’ll stay friends.”