”A chance for him to dress up his beloved dog, John” is how the press release bills Josh Thomas’s involvement in Celebrity Come Dine with Me.
”They made me put my dog in a f—ing outfit,” Thomas protests. ”Now I look like some crazy lonely person who puts their dog in outfits all the time.
”It all started as a joke. I was in Thailand and I sent some outfits to my boyfriend so he could dress up John. Except now we can’t stop. It’s like having our own Suri Cruise.”
Thomas signed up to the program – his third appearance in a celebrity cooking show following Celebrity MasterChef and Celebrity Ready Steady Cook – to prove ”I’m not a complete loser”.
”I actually think I’m quite good at cooking,” says the popular comedian, ”and I like the idea of being good at something on television after four years of having no idea on Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation. I want to prove I do have some skills.”
The celebrity episode marks the start of the fourth season of Come Dine with Me, in which contestants compete to host the best dinner-party. Thomas has three rivals: PR supremo Prue MacSween; Dannii Minogue’s former husband, the footballer-turned-model Kris Smith; and model and actress Chloe Maxwell. ”If you ever get the chance to go to Prue MacSween’s house, take it,” Thomas says. ”Everything is white – everything – with a couple of gold details. There are statues everywhere. There’s a big window that overlooks the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And in front of that window is a white baby grand piano, which she doesn’t know how to play. I didn’t realise such a place existed.”
MacSween titled her event ”an orgy of rude food”, which had Thomas concerned. ”I was worried we’d have to eat a dinner shaped like a dick,” he says, ”but it was normal food with bawdy conversation.”
During one dinner, MacSween tried to engage him on politics, despite his efforts to change the subject. ”The things is, we have completely opposing viewpoints,” he says. ”I just couldn’t imagine the conversation ending with me going, ‘You’re right – Tony Abbott is a hero’, or her saying, ‘You’re right – Bob Brown does have a good vision for Australia’.”
Much to the producers’ delight, Thomas changed John’s outfit between each course, which he likened to Mariah Carey’s constant costume changes in a concert.
”Kylie Minogue is actually a much better reference for that joke,” he says, ”but I was very careful not to mention any Minogues around Kris.”
Next year is looking like a big year for Thomas.
Before shooting Celebrity Come Dine with Me, he made a semi-autobiographical comedy called Please Like Me, due to air on ABC2 in February.
The script was written so long ago it included scenes of Thomas kissing girls. ”After I came out, we replaced the girls with boys,” he says. ”And I did get to cast who plays my boyfriend, which is obvious because he’s beautiful.”
Celebrity Come Dine with Me
Airs Tuesday on all Foxtel LifeStyle channels.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.