LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britons are increasingly entertaining guests at home with dinner, film and karaoke nights, inspired by television shows on cookery and home entertainment, according to a survey.
More than half (53 percent) of the respondents to a poll of 1,000 Britons across the country said they now prefer to spend quality time with family and friends by inviting them over to their homes rather than meeting in bars and restaurants, the survey by mobile phone operator T-Mobile showed.
Popular television shows such as "Come Dine With Me," where amateur chefs attempt to wow each other with their culinary skills, "Master Chef" where ordinary people compete to cook to Michelin standards and a number of celebrity cookery shows have inspired Britons to entertain at home.
The poll showed that nearly a third of respondents had splashed out cash for home entertainment improvements such as sofas, dining tables, games consoles and bigger televisions to impress the guests.
"Over the last couple of years, my clients have increasingly asked for home parties rather than ones at independent venues," party planning expert Liz Brewer said in a statement accompanying the poll's results.
"This is not only due to the recession but because many have become increasingly house-proud and keen to show off their cooking skills, in addition to their latest home entertainment purchases."
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was the top choice for dream host of respondents, while Prime Minister Gordon Brown was one of the least favored, alongside his rival Conservative leader David Cameron.
Reporting by Paul Casciato, editing by Steve Addison