A Sunderland puppeteer pulled some strings to win a TV cookery show.
With his puppet pals on hand to help, Philip Thompson from Seaburn scooped £1,000 in hit Channel 4 show Come Dine With Me.
He appeared on the popular show in a recent North East edition alongside TV journalist India Willoughby from Blaydon, supermarket worker Melissa Campbell from Crook, and retired doctor from Fenham, Doctor Anand.
Philip, who is originally from Durham, became the puppet master of the kitchen after beating the other contestants over a week of dinner parties..
Speaking about appearing in the show, he said: “It was a great experience. I’m really glad I applied to go on Come Dine With Me. I met some great people, we all got on really well and they didn’t only love my food but my puppet show too.
“We’ve already met up since and I’m sure we are going to remain friends. And to top it all off I won as well.”
He wowed his guests with his dishes of a starter of scallops and black pudding, a main course dish of panko monkfish with fondant potatoes, and pavlova for dessert.
Post dinner entertainment was provided by his puppet show which seemed to go down a storm with his guests, with Philip scoring 22 as the first host, enough for him to win the entire week.
Philip has recently returned to the region, after working as a children’s entertainer in London, to launch puppet show business Pip’s Puppets.