HE NORMALLY cooks for one.
But tonight Anson Lane’s culinary talents will come under the spotlight in front of millions of people.
The former IBM software engineer, from Anson Court, Gunwharf Quays, will host a three-course dinner for three guests in the popular Channel Four show Come Dine With Me.
The one-hour Hampshire special will see contestants hold a dinner party at their homes and have their food secretly scored by each guest out of 10.
The one with the highest score will land a £1,000 prize and bragging rights.
Anson, 68, is confident his spread of asparagus wrapped in parma ham, grilled trout with hand-cut chips and pancakes drizzled in lemon and served with cream will land him the cash.
He is also dishing up a vegan friendly starter and main for two of his guests.
He said: ‘I wanted to do something a bit special. You can’t do something like fish, fish and then more fish. You need some variety to win people over.
‘The food I’m cooking is within my skill level so I’ve made sure I haven’t attempted something which could potentially go very wrong.’
Anson applied for the show in April after he and a group of strangers did their own spin on it.
He said: ‘I was chatting to a few people down at Restaurant 69, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, earlier in the year about the idea of doing a competitive dinner party. We ended up doing it and it was a lot of fun.
‘After that I thought I would try my luck applying for Come Dine With Me.’
Anson made the cut after a successful telephone interview with Channel Four producers. Filming then took place throughout July.
Anson said: ‘The whole experience was a bit of a rollercoaster. They must have filmed what seemed 60 hours worth of footage, and it’s all going to be squeezed into one.
‘It was like feeling every emotion there is in the book.
‘On the day it was my turn to host a dinner party, I was stuck in the kitchen for 12 hours.
‘So a lot of what I see tonight, from the guests’ points of view, will be new to me.
‘I got on with everyone really well, there’s always apprehension when you meet new people though.
‘I don’t want to give too much away, but expect a bit of female rivalry!’
The three remaining contestants in tonight’s show, which starts at 7.30pm, are Terese Scott, from Old Copse Road, Havant, Jhon Cosgrove, from Petersfield, and Selena Bartlett from Havant.
Terese, 39, said: ‘Taking part was a real laugh. Anson is an absolute legend, we’re now mates for life!’
A Channel Four spokeswoman said: ‘It was a pleasure filming Come Dine with Me with the four contestants from Hampshire. I’m sure the viewers at home will find the episode thoroughly entertaining.’