The odds have tumbled on the Charles family from Bridlington winning TV’s newest cooking competition.
They are one of the firm favourites after coming out on top in the first heat of The Big Family Cooking Showdown,
Bookmaker Dan, his wife Betty and her mum Jean teamed up to make dishes including fennel risotto, chilli and ginger roast chicken and mango and cardamom posset, impressing the judges enough to win a place in the semi-finals.
“It’s a bit more stressful than cooking at home,” admitted Dan, who is known to scribble recipe idea on betting slips left around the house. “You have got so much food to cook that you need two other people you can trust with you.
“You’ve also got to get used to the different equipment. Their digital ovens were the perfect temperature but they had induction hobs and the heat went off automatically when you took the pan off.”
The programme is seen as the BBC’s rival to Channel Four’s the Great British Bake Off, and is hosted by Zoe Ball and cook Nadiya Hussain, who won the Bake Off in 2015.
The judges are chef Rosemary Shrager and Giorgio Locatelli, who runs Michelin-starred restaurants. the programme was filmed in Kent but one of the rounds saw the Charles cook for the judges at their family home.
Dan said: “You could just imagine going out for a drink with the presenters. Zoe was exactly as you imagine her to be and Nadiya was so, so nice.”
When the show went out last Tuesday, Dan and Betty welcomed 18 guests round to their home in Haisthorpe to watch, and the pressure to produce good food was just as high as in the studio.
“You are on a cooking show so people are expecting you serve something more than sausage rolls.
“At school I always wanted to be a chef but I didn’t do anything about it for 10 years. However, we went travelling around South East Asia and Italy, and we have done cookery courses all over.
“We are just home cooks, we love to have family round at least once a week.” Betty and her mother Jean are originally from Bedfordshire but moved to Bridlington with their family’s work.
They married in 2015 after Dan proposed while on holiday in Rome. Betty works at Hudson Contract and Jean at Bridlington Children’s Centre, but Dan said his dream is to start a cookery business, specialising in Italian food.
Millions tuned into watch them beat the Marks family from London in week one and the semi-final will be shown in mid-October.
You can follow the family on Twitter @mrdancharles and @mrsbettycharles