Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee has never been one to shy away from the cameras, so when he appeared on Channel 4’s Couples’ Come Dine With Me reality show, it was certainly out of the line of fire and into the frying pan.
Lee, 32, who has been dubbed something of a serial entrepreneur off the field - having pitched his Dr. Cap headwear business on Dragons’ Den, written a book, a even gained a first class honours degree in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting - seized the opportunity to sign-up for the cult classic television show last year, which aired last night at 5pm.
With his fiancée Marina, Lee substituted his more iconic goalkeeping gloves for more hardy oven gloves in a bid to scoop the £1,000 prize platter away from two couples from Leighton Buzzard.
For the Bees man, who returned to Griffin Park this week following a month-long loan move to West London neighbours Fulham, he finally found that his Achilles heel was in the kitchen.
But it wasn’t enough to deter he and his female host, who still managed to serve up a sumptuous co-winning Italian menu in Watford to receive a share of the spoils.
Lee’s footballing credentials didn’t go unnoticed either by one of the guest’s during the culinary TV showdown, which again forced him to raise the bar in what proved to be another memorable three-way dining experience on Channel 4.
Lee said: “It was a great experience, and something I’m pleased we did. It was of course nice to win a share of the prize [£500 per couple], but we didn’t enter the show for that reason.
"We genuinely met some great couples from Leighton Buzzard and, while some of the menus remain a bit of a blur even to this day, we certainly had a blast.
“Each night we stayed up to the early hours of the morning; in one case to 4am, so it was quite a tough week, especially having to reacquaint myself for training a few hours later.
“On the flipside, I have absolutely not regrets about going on the show, although I don’t expect to be rubbing shoulders with Marco Pierre White just yet."
Following his culinary experience, Lee is now encouraging other footballers and athletes alike to wake up and smell the coffee through a new range of healthy hot drinks.
In true entrepreneurial-style, Lee has launched a new Organo Gold drinks range that can boast users’immune system, energy levels, and fight off the common British cold at www.dickieleecoffee.com.
On the field, Lee will now be hoping that his fellow team-mates can tonight maintain their rich run of form to see off Middlesborough in the first of two Championship play-offs in a bid to reach their second Wembley final in two years.
Lee, who will retire at the end of the current season, won't be a part of the on-field action tonight, despite his return from Fulham, and will cheer on his fellow Bees from the commentary box.
Keep checking back at GetWestLondon for all the pre-match build up, plus all tonight's action and reaction.