Come Dine With Us

Elaine and Francesca consider their dream guest list for the ultimate dinner party.

Elaine: When Francesca and I were discussing which four guests we would each invite to a dinner party, the names were endless.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe first thought that entered my head was that I’d be quite happy to sit opposite David Beckham all night. Then there’s the very talented graffiti artist, Banksy, but he would never come because of his anonymity. So I made a list. Once I had done that, I realized many of them were women fighting for what they want in a male dominated environment. Emily Pankhurst, Margaret Thatcher and Tina Turner to name just a few, but that probably says more about me than anything else.

My first guest will not surprise anybody that has read this blog before or knows anything about me, John Lennon. I grew up with the Beatles and it has to be said he was my favourite. I believe his talent for writing was ahead of its time and it shocked me when his life was cut short.

The second guest would by Dame Judy Dench, although it was tough deciding between her
and Helen Mirren. Both of these ladies have grown older gracefully; they have embraced their age and beauty, which must be tough when their careers are in a pressurized environment to have plastic surgery. I have great admiration for them both.

I recently saw Lionel Ritchie in concert and for that reason he will be my third guest. He IMG_1998surprised me by being very entertaining and it wasn’t just about his songs, he made the audience laugh.

My fourth will be the comedy actress, Victoria Wood. This lady has been making me laugh for years, and I can tell you that is not an easy task.

Please note there isn’t a writer amongst my guests. That’s not intentional, it was just a very tough choice and as a writer myself, I know they would rather be writing than sitting having dinner with fellow guests. 


Francesca: Oh dear, only four people?

Okay. I started off writing this thinking who on earth would I invite? Then, as I got warmed up the list got longer and longer and…

The kids would want  an invite to this dinner party (though won't thank me for this 10-year-old photo!).

The kids would want an invite to this dinner party (though won’t thank me for this 10-year-old photo!).

How about some eye candy, I thought, Aiden Turner, Ioan Gruffudd and Elijah Wood? I’m sure they’d all be interesting too. (I’ve actually met one of them, but that’s a story for another time.) Or I wouldn’t mind some clever/comedic banter with Jo Brand, Victoria Coren, Paul Merton, Ian Hislop and Dara O Briain.

Or Dara could bring Brian Cox and it could be an evening of intellectual discussion. Along with them I could have Lucy Worsley, Neil Oliver and Michael Wood, my favourite TV historians. I could add David Attenborough and Ray Mears for the natural touch. But with some of those in attendance I’d have to invite my children or they’d never forgive me. 

Table for five, madam?

Table for five, madam?

I wouldn’t mind a frank one-to-one with Richard III. What happened to those princes, Dick? Perhaps invite Henry VII (who I suspect was the culprit anyway), and the aforementioned historians, get a good discussion going. Or a punch up! Mother Teresa might be useful to dispense calm and words of wisdom.

Oh, so many interesting people, so little time! Ok, final decision on the four. Victoria Coren, Lucy Worsley, Dara O Briain and Ray Mears. Absolutely. Probably. Maybe. Then again, with the kitchen table added to the one in the dining room, I could actually fit ten to twelve people in…


 So tell us, who would you invite and why?

11 thoughts on “Come Dine With Us

  1. I really enjoyed this one, ladies. Unfortunately you have now set my mind racing. Who would I ask. My list, like yours, would be a long one. I have no idea how you managed to whittle it down to just four but I’m full of admiration for both of you. On the other hand, there are one or two names missing from both your lists. Have either of you thought about…?

    • Yes, Natalie, it was very hard to whittle the list down. I had loads of historical characters written down but then I decided to have a more relaxed dinner party. I love people that can make me laugh. The world is full of bad news so if you find someone who can do that they are worth their weight in gold. Then of course my daughter added a few of her own that she’d like to invite, as did my work colleagues, it certainly was a great discussion point.

  2. Don’t get me started, Natalie! I don’t need encouragement to think of even more names. There are a whole host of other historical characters I’d love to place round a table together for a start. For instance Henry VIII’s wives. That would be an eye opener. See what I mean? I’ll shut up now…

  3. Witty repartee and compassion for and knowledge of wild life would be essential so Stephen Fry and David Attenborough would do nicely. Richard Burton would be the ‘voice’ of the party and Marilyn Monroe, interesting eye candy.

    • Oh yes Moya, the Richard Burton voice definitely gets my vote. He would also be interesting to talk to as well, I didn’t even think of him. It would also be interesting to know the true details about Marilyn Munroe. I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall at your dinner party.

  4. Really enjoyed reading this, Elaine and Francesca; so difficult to think of four, so I’ve cheated. Politicians: Nelson Mandela or Nye Bevan, Writers:George Eliot or the lovely Margaret Atwood, Environmentalists: David Attenborough or George Monbiot, then Ian MCKellen because I love luvvies, and because I can’t count,and a lasagne goes a long way, for nuisance and irritant value: Russell Brand. I would love to see the monumental G. Eliot intellect and learning, put all those male egos to shame. Shakespeare and Wordsworth would be invited for after dinner coffee.

    • Nye Bevan occurred to me too, Angela, as did David Lloyd George and even Owain Glyndŵr! I actually thought of Russell Brand after I’d written this. There are so many golden nuggets among his ramblings. Coffee at yours would be an opportunity to ask Shakespeare if he really wrote all his plays!

  5. That’s a great list Angela. Nelson Mandela was on my list, how could he not be, if for no other reason than learning how to forgive so much. You certainly have a mixed bag so there would be interesting discussions around the table, and you’re right lasagne does go along way. Elaine

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