This time last year Idle entertained 120 of his closest friends to dinner and dancing to celebrate his 50th. It was exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure, and ruinously expensive.
Tonight, the other side of the coin: Family Birthday Masterchef. The Contestants:
Idle, 51, a poor banker from Aberdeenshire now living in Sussex. Idle will be making the starter: scallops wrapped in pancetta with pureed celeriac and lightly sauteed chestnut mushrooms.
Lady Idle, a multi-tasking expert from (expat) Hong Kong, now living in Sussex. Lady Idle will be making the main course: fillet steaks with boulangere potatoes, green beans and mushrooms and roasted sweet spear carrots.
Younger Miss Idle, 18, from Sussex. Miss Idle will be making pudding: chocolate pots.
The sommelier, Monsieur Idle, chose the following wines:
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rose, NV (contributed by Miss Idle)
Ch d'Armailhac, Pauillac, 1995
Chartreuse de Coutet, Sauternes, 2007
Elder Miss Idle, 20, from Sussex, reading Writing, Directing and Performance at York University, was unable to attend due to the three-day sellout of her university directorial debut, and will be sorely missed.