MANY of us enjoy eating dinner on the sofa in front of the telly as we relax in the evenings. Not everyone is a fan, though.

During the whirl of press interviews to promote the new series of MasterChef, arriving on our screens this Monday (BBC One, 9pm), the show's presenter John Torode has declared "teas on knees" to be a terrible culinary faux pas.

He's not keen?

Correct. The straight-talking Australian chef, who co-hosts the BBC cooking competition with Gregg Wallace, didn't hold back in his rebuke. Torode said that he always sets the table properly when at home with his wife, the actor Lisa Faulkner.

"We wouldn't ever consume food in front of the television," he said. "I don't understand why people would want to sit with some food on their lap and dribble down their shirt and all over a clean sofa. A sofa is for sitting on, and enjoying, and relaxing. Not for eating."

HeraldScotland: John Torode and Gregg Wallace co-host BBC's MasterChef. Picture: BBC/Shine TVJohn Torode and Gregg Wallace co-host BBC's MasterChef. Picture: BBC/Shine TV

People are eating their sofas?

It was a badly worded turn of phrase. What Torode meant is that we shouldn't eat while sitting on the sofa.

His MasterChef co-presenter agrees?

Indeed. Wallace also prefers a more structured and convivial dining set-up, saying he looks forward to it as a time when the three generations of relatives who share his home – his wife Anna, her parents and some of his children – can come together for food and conversation.

"When I come home, I've got a family around the table with a bottle of wine," said Wallace. "It would be really lonely now without them."

Do many folk eat in front of the TV?

A fair chunk. Some 43 per cent of UK families eat TV dinners most evenings, according to a recent survey from Travelodge.

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Are TV dinners bad?

Each to their own, we say. But do be considerate to those around you.

Some ground rules are needed?

It might be a good idea. Unless you still have the protective covering on your sofa, it would be wise to proceed with caution. Nothing too runny, say egg yolks or creamy sauces. It might also be prudent to don a plastic poncho similar to those you wear for a theme park big splash ride when eating.

Anything else?

No slurpy soups in order to avoid drowning out the telly. Unless you are watching some arty Scandi-chic programme with subtitles, in which case that's probably fine.

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Ditto for anything that crunches. Think pasta, rice and soft pulses rather than a giant platter of nachos or hard-shell tacos. Don't sit there cracking the thin, brittle crust on a creme brulee with a spoon when Emmerdale is on.

What about watching MasterChef while eating?

I wouldn't risk it.