Surbiton eaterie will hit the television screens next week, after it was transformed for BBC 2 reality show The Restaurant.

Da Lucio in Maple Road was taken over for several weeks over the summer and temporarily became Sorbet and Seasons, the project of Sussex couple Richard Hammond, 41, and Scott Sheppard, 35.

The former air stewards had to run the restaurant for paying customers and were judged on their performance against eight other couples.

The first of the series, aired last night, saw one of the duos ejected without opening a restaurant.

The remaining couples will open their restaurants for service on Wednesday. They competed for the chance to win a restaurant, financially backed and personally supported by renowned chef Raymond Blanc.

Da Lucio was made over and painted pink and cream - something restaurant owner Luciano Orindi has chosen to keep after getting the keys back.

Mr Orindi said: “I’m looking forward to seeing our restaurant on there. We’ll probably see a lot of our customers. I’m sure we’ll get people coming in now because it’s been on the television.”

Customers could apply to eat at Sorbet and Seasons by emailing the BBC, and experienced the unusual dining experience of being surrounded by film crews.

Contestant Scott Sheppard trained as a chef 18 years ago and is now a manager for first and business class on an airline.

“I’ve never cooked on a commercial scale,” he said. “The biggest number I’ve cooked for is 12 at a dinner party but I loved every minute of it. And I ended up doing the washing up as well.”

• Da Lucio will make its first appearance on The Restaurant on BBC2 on Wednesday at 8pm.