We know more and more people are using websites to find that special someone, but you can’t turn on the telly these days without finding a show about dating. Here’s a round-up of some we especially enjoy…
1. First Dates
The fancy restaurant where this show takes place is in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, in London. It features affable French Maitre d’, Fred Sirieix, who puts first-daters at ease with his charm. Fred also does pieces to camera, where he waxes lyrical about the joys of love.
Singletons taking part have been asked their likes and dislikes looks-wise, plus hobbies, and we have to say the producers do a really good job of finding someone suitable. At the end of the date, the pair go on camera together and are asked if they want to see each other again.
On occasions, a couple we thought seemed made for each other say they felt no spark, such disappointment! Failed first-daters can return to look for love another time if they like. One of our favourite parts is when it comes to the bill and the awkwardness over who’s going to pay.
Meet Laura and Matt who were quite literally each other’s cup of tea!…
2. Celeb First Dates
Ditto everything as above, except this time there may not be too much haggling over picking up the bill!
In this version, celebrities are set up on dates with mere mortals. This leads to embarrassing moments as the celebs expect to be recognised, but this isn’t always the case. Cue lots of: ‘I don’t really watch a lot of telly,’ ‘I’ve been on the moon,’ ‘…living under a rock,’ etc!
Our favourite date was between Dame Esther Rantzen, and Irish lawyer John. Esther told John how lonely she’d felt since losing her husband. ‘I’ve plenty of people to do something with, but nobody to do nothing with,’ she explained. The pair seemed to be hitting it off, until John made this faux pas: ‘If I may say so, I think for a lady of your advancing years, you make splendid company.’ And Esther’s response: ‘He was doing so well up till then!’
See the surprised look on John’s face when he realises who his date is…
3. Celebs Go Dating
This E4 show ran from Monday to Friday over a total of three weeks this summer. It followed six lovelorn celebrities on nightly dates as they tried to find a non-celebrity love match. The celebs were: Charlotte Crosby, Joey Essex, Stephanie Pratt, Tyger Drew-Honey, YouTube’s Jack Jones and Tattoo Fixers’ Paisley Billings.
Viewers had the chance to apply before the show began and were only selected if dating experts, Eden Blackman and Nadia Essex, thought they’d be compatible. The dates are followed from start to finish – from making sure outfits are on point, last-minute nerves, through to post-date reactions and revelations, all with Rob Beckett’s hilarious narration.
The show even hit the headlines, with stories about Joey and Stephanie breaking the agency’s rules and angering the experts by dating each other. See Joey and Stephanie’s steamy hook up in the pool…
4. Dinner Date
This show puts love on the menu for single boys and girls. Each programme gives one person the chance to find love over three meals cooked by a blind date in their own home. So, a girl has a trio of dinners with three different blokes and marks the evening. She then chooses one of them to go on a proper date with in a restaurant. The same format applies for the chap, who goes to three women’s homes.
Those cooking present menus and, out of five, three are chosen purely on what they’re offering food wise. And there’s a the twist at the end, when all those who’ve had dates are getting ready to head off to a posh restaurant, but only one gets to go, the other two have microwaveable ready meals delivered under a grand cloche. The show is littered throughout by the narrator’s terrible puns! Now find out what we mean…
5. The Undateables
Although the title sounds downbeat, The Undateables is an uplifting show where people with challenging ailments dip their toes in to the dating world. The series follows singles with conditions including Tourette’s, Down’s syndrome, facial disfigurement, Asperger’s, autism and learning disabilities. With the help of a personal-introduction service and a dating agency, they search for love.
The show has had its fair share of success and even weddings!. Brent, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, and Challis tied the knot in Las Vegas after a whirlwind romance. Steve, who has Crouzon syndrome, which means he has pronounced facial features, proposed to his girlfriend Vicky after meeting her on Twitter.
And favourites, Ray a 52-year-old office manager with a learning disability, met Jeanette three years ago when cupid struck at a Leeds United match. Despite Jeanette chanting: ‘Come on Barnsley’ by mistake, which isn’t Ray’s team.
The couple are going steady, and Ray has even taken Jeanette to the capital of love, Paris.
Witness Ray’s reaction to Jeanette’s mistake…
6. Love Island
Love Island is an ITV2 reality show, which takes 12 single participants to a gorgeous villa in Majorca to see if any sparks fly. But the show is no stranger to controversy, and in September it was cleared by media watchdog Ofcom after receiving complaints about sexual content. Not so much dating then, more getting down and dirty!
For six hot weeks the contestants pouted, showed off their pecs and got passionate. But finally, Caroline Flack announced Nathan and Cara as the winning couple! But not all was as it seemed, for in an extra special twist, they had to prove their dedication to each other and choose between money or love. And of course, they went for love, making them £50,000 richer and walking off into the sunset hand-in-hand with their soul mate.
If you fancy enjoying a long, hot summer of romance, the programme makers are looking for lively singles to take part.
And now, with adult content and strong language, follow Cara and Nathan’s Love Island journey…
7. The Bachelor
We’re going Stateside for our next four shows. Starting with The Bachelor, which revolves around an eligible, single chap, who starts with a pool of romantic interests and is expected to select a wife.
During the season, he eliminates candidates by not giving them a rose at the end of their date, with the bachelor proposing to his final selection. The participants travel to exotic locations and the conflicts stem from the tough-to-take eliminations.
However, the naughty bachelors don’t always follow the rules, two notable cases are Brad Womack, who selected neither of his final two women, and Jason Mesnick, who proposed to Melissa Rycroft in the finale, before unexpectedly dumping her for runner-up Molly Malaney. The two are now married.
The show’s success has resulted in several spin-offs, including The Bachelorette, which we feature below…
But first, with strong language, see the awkward dumping moment for yourselves…
8. The Bachelorette
Sounds nicer than spinster, doesn’t it! The format is the same as parent show The Bachelor, and the bachelorette is often a reject (we prefer runner-up) from The Bachelor.
However, unlike The Bachelor, all eleven seasons of The Bachelorette have ended with a proposal, although it’s up to the lady to decide whether to accept. And, in fact, there have only been three marriages as a result of the show. Two of which were broadcast on ABC.
Despite the romantic (hurl!) proposal you can endure here, JoJo and Jordan are still waiting to set a date…
9. The Millionaire Matchmaker
You’d think if you had a million dollars, you’d be able to find your own date! However, it seems the loaded need help, too. Enter Patti Stanger who runs a matchmaking business, dedicated to helping minted and demanding men and women find the mate of their dreams.
Patti used every trick imaginable to assist her clients in finding Mr or Miss Right, before leaving the show last July. It was announced this June the show has been cancelled. But although we’ve seen the demise of this show it’s not the end of Patti, as you can see with our next show…
Before that, though, there’s still a chance to see Patti intervene (with strong language) on a date that isn’t going well.
10. Million Dollar Matchmaker
Patti Stranger is sticking with the wealthy for her new series, Million Dollar Matchmaker.
Each episode sees two rich clients checking into the breathtaking luxury property in Harrah’s Resort Southern California, San Diego. Here they unwittingly embark on their ‘love lesson’, custom-tailored challenges designed by Patti and her team to reveal what they’re doing wrong. Patti then meets one-on-one with each millionaire for a reality check and in-depth review of his or her surprise date, where she delivers her particular brand of tough love, with often brutally honest feedback.
Finally, Patti will introduce each high-profile client to her two matches. If all goes well, the millionaire and his or her potential match will be on their way to happily ever after. Or if not, at least they’ve had a lovely spa break!
Patti tells us all about the show, plus we get to see the luxurious resort…
What’s your favourite dating show? Let us know below…