In the mood for some easy entertainment, some datespiration, or even something light and fun to watch with your (maybe) soon-to-be other half? Here is our pick of the best, and potentially worst, dating shows on the telly…
It may be an obvious one, but there’s no denying that it’s brilliant. The people are beautiful, the egos are huge, and it’s on every night for seven weeks in the summer which means you can always get your fix. The downside is that we have to wait a year before the next batch of lovebirds grace our lives with their on-screen antics, but the three past series are always available on All 4…
Everything about this show is a delight, from the charming Maitre d’ Fred Sirieux to the range of hopefuls that turn up to his restaurant by St Paul’s Cathedral, hoping to meet their match. The success rate is dubious, but the frankness with which the daters often talk about their past lives and past loves is refreshing and heartening. Things get even more exciting when they go abroad in First Dates Hotel. Series 9 is currently on screens at 10pm, so tune in!
This one is absolute gold. The premise? A clothed dater picks two naked contestants out of a line up, whose bodies and faces are revealed to them bit by bit from the feet up. Anna Richardson’s commentary is surprisingly informative, and the sheer comedy of the process makes it the perfect ice breaker if you’re feeling slightly awkward cuddled up to your date on the sofa. There’s no relief like comic relief! You can catch up online now.
Celebs Go Dating
The fabulously fabricated scenarios that the celebs put themselves through on E4’s classic dating show take nothing away from its entertainment value. Each series boasts an impressive cast of career reality stars, who have simply migrated from Chelsea, Brentwood or the 00’s music scene to the serene white office of Eden and Nadia’s dating consultancy. The success rate is dubious, but the show is great. Our very own founder and CEO even graced our screens in series two!
Take Me Out
As annoying as Paddy McGuinness’ ‘no likey no lighty’ catchphrase may be, this is a Saturday night pre-X Factor classic. The concept is simple and surprisingly brutal, as the female contestants turn their light off as soon as they see something they don’t like in the brave men who are attempting to win their affections. I would be interested to see the format switched up, and have women competing for men’s ‘lightys’.
Ex on the Beach
Raucous, rude, something you should probably turn down if your parents are hovering near.. does this even qualify as a dating show? Attractive people and minor celebrities are placed in a gorgeous villa with their exes, and all hell breaks loose. Some dating is involved, so I suppose it does qualify. Think Geordie Shore meets Love Island and you’ve got this one down.
Throwback…. Holly and Fearne Go Dating
This show didn’t go any further than the first series and to be honest it’s not surprising… but if you want to see everybody’s favorite on- and off-screen best friends try and find themselves some lonely hearts (dressed in the best early noughties gear you can imagine) then head to YouTube and get watching asap. I promise you won’t regret it!