Come Dine With Donal

by Alexandra Groom


Durham has a new celebrity, University College 2nd Year Donal Anand-Shaw. Otherwise accidentally known as ‘Doughnut’ by his Come Dine With Me co-star Eve on last night’s episode. Filmed during the stressful exam season, Donal seems so far to have been spared the often scathing criticism of Dave Lamb’s humorous voiceover, quite a feat in itself. Indigo caught up with the new star as he travels around America before term starts again (hoping to crack that too perhaps?)


i: What is your first memory of cooking?

I think my first and most important memories of cooking are baking, with my mum, as a little boy. I tended to eat more of the mixture before it went in the oven and then felt sick afterwards.


i: When did you become seriously interested in food?

I think food became more than simply nutrition around the age of 15. I started really enjoying both cooking itself and finding interesting menus at great restaurants. I then began to experiment with cooking and did a couple of day courses in Oxford.


i: Are you as funny in real life?

Am I as funny in real life? What a question! I haven’t watched the programme yet so I couldn’t possibly say.


i: Where you confident with your meal choice? How did you prepare?

I’d tried 90% of the whole meal beforehand, cooking it for the housemates of the house I was going to be filming in. (I was living in college at the time and couldn’t realistically host a dinner party in halls…) Although confident in my own choice it was difficult to know what other people would or could come up with.


i: Were there any meals that you couldn’t stand over the course of the week?

A couple of the dishes during the week were pretty rank. I’m still unsure of what exactly was in Eve’s pudding! Later on in the week I also found a suspicious hair in one of the dishes and that wasn’t too nice either. On the whole though the food was good!


i: Without giving anything away, do you think the outcome at the end was the right one?

I think the outcome was great!


i: Have you stayed in touch with anyone from the show?

The three girls from the show have all stayed in touch and I’ve seen them once. We met in Newcastle, in a public place having told my parents where I was going and at what time I should be back! They were a hoot.


i: Are people going to be asking you to cook for them all the time next year? Got any big dinner parties lined up?

I’m more than happy to cook for as many dinner parties as possible next year and there are a few on the cards already. A celebratory dinner for Paralympic gold medallist Lily van den Broecke is definitely on the cards.


i: What’s it like watching yourself on tv?

As I said I haven’t watched the programme yet so couldn’t say how it is to watch myself!


i: Would you do a reality tv program again?

I wouldn’t consider CDWM reality tv as such but I’d love to do more cooking. Perhaps a little Saturday morning slot on the BBC.



Catch Donal in Durham, cooking at 24 A The Avenue, on Wednesday night at 5.30. The show continues until Friday. Previous episodes can be found on 4OD.


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