It goes without saying there are different tiers of TV celebrity. Those at the top can be found starring in or hosting their own shows, for example, while those lower down might only ever rise high enough to sweep across the Dancing With the Stars dance floor.

In New Zealand, our shallow celebrity pool means those are usually the only two levels. But in Britain there's an even lower tier, a last stop before total anonymity. These are the ones you'll find on a wonderful show called Who's Doing the Dishes?

It could much more simply, and only slightly more depressingly, be called Who Remembers Me? The show's concept is reassuringly similar to Come Dine With Me - a group of wildly clashing personality types spend a week having dinner at a different house each night. Only in this version they are hosted and cooked for by a mystery minor celeb.

It's become a staple of TV One's daytime programming, a comforting reminder of home for any expats who have immigrated to New Zealand and now have nothing to do all day. Saturday morning's episode took us to the worn, slightly shabby mansion of former darts legend 'King' Bobby George.

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For people who didn't spend the 70s and 80s in a cloud of Rothmans - "I was the first one to do all the glitter and the cape and the candles and that," he tells the show's host, Brian McFadden from Westlife. Candles? At the darts? Very cool.

He also went by the nicknames Bobby Dazzler and The King of Bling. Now, he sags under the weight of maybe 20 pieces of heavy gold jewellery around his neck and wrists and on every finger. "What's it like cooking with all this bling on?" McFadden asks. "Quite awkward actually."

He loves his Chinese food, and has built a shed in his backyard specifically to house his wok. The sign on the door says 'WOK THIS WAY'. The shed opens out on to a lonely courtyard, which backs on to a grotty brown pond where he whiles away the hours with his fishing rod. He reels in an undersized fish for the camera. "That's a common cod that is."

If this was just a guided tour of the strange, eerie mansion of a forgotten celebrity from a bygone era, it'd be perfect. But the contestants have to show up and ruin it.

Their job is to guess who the mystery celeb is based on the clues presented to them in the names of the dishes he cooks, starting out fairly cryptic and growing increasingly obvious and desperate for recognition.

Get it right and they get £500 and the celeb has to do the dishes. Get it wrong and they get nothing and have to do the dishes themselves. The stakes are high.

They're coming in hot off of correctly guessing a woman from The Only Way is Essex the previous night. There's bodybuilder Simon, life coach Annie, theatre director Brian, and Tracy, who might not do anything at all.

Basically, they're cretins. Quite possibly, they only ended up on this show after their applications for Come Dine With Me were declined on the grounds that they were simply too dull and idiotic.

The first course is "Double Trouble Spare Ribs". It proves a red herring - our sleuths are convinced it must be a celebrity couple. "Ant and Dec?" Bobby George and Brian McFadden from Westlife watch the whole scene from the kitchen, hunched over an iPad. "Ozzy and Sharon?" No... they all agree that Ozzy and Sharon are far too famous for this.

McFadden gives them a bonus clue in the form of some of George's jewellery. Hmm. "Who wears a lot of gold on TV?" "Rappers." Surely not. But then Brian, the dismissive and unpopular old bore, pipes up. "You know the one who does the darts? He wears a lot of heavy stuff."

He's got him. Only, he doesn't have a name. The main course, 'Chicken in Bully's Black Bean Sauce', confirms that it's a darts player - bully, doubles - but the only darts player any of them know is Eric Bristow. "Ooh, it could be Eric Bristol?" "Yeah, Eric Bistro."

"Eric Bristow? Are you taking the..." Bobby George is ropable. He angrily plates up King George's Mess for pudding. A light flickers inside Brian's head. "Oh, I'll tell you what his name is..." he bumbles. He's got it! "George... something George." Good grief.

For minutes they just sit there saying names. Charlie George, Johnny George, George George. At one point Simon actually says it - "Bobby George" - but Brian snaps at him to shut up. McFadden almost collapses to the kitchen floor in despair.

So close, and yet so far. Brian and co are on dishes, though Bobby George would probably prefer they just get the hell out of his house.

Ah well, there's always tomorrow - surely they'll remember Claire from Steps.

- nzherald.co.nz