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Guests on ‘Come Dine With Me’ were treated to a special show all of their own when Sunderland-based puppeteer appeared on the Channel 4 TV show with other North East contestants last month.

Philip Thompson, from Seaburn in Sunderland, appeared on the popular daytime TV show along with three other North East contestants including TV journalist India Willoughby from Blaydon, supermarket worker Melissa Campbell from Crook, and retired doctor from Fenham, Doc Anand. Philip, who is originally from Durham, became the Puppet Master after beating the other four contestants in the cookery show.

He wowed his guests by cooking fresh local produce including a starter of scallops & black pudding, a main course dish of panko monkfish with fondant potatoes, and pavlova for dessert. After which his traditional puppet show also had the guests captivated too.

His fellow diners described the evening and Philip as a “great entertainer, food was amazing and the show was fantastic”. India proclaimed that she was “chuffed to bits for him” and that if she couldn’t win she wanted it to be him.

He scored 22 as the first host, which was enough for him to win the entire week pocketing £1000 as the winner.

Philip has recently returned to the northeast after working as a children’s entertainer in London to launch ‘Pips Puppets’ – a unique puppet show experience, that combines old-style fairy tales in a show that is one of a kind. Pips Puppets performs at birthday parties, schools and other special occasions around the north east.

The 40-minute show aims to entertain children age 2 to 7 but also those older too.

For more information about the puppet shows see: