The Kerley questions
As host of a new dating show, James Kerley asks the hard questions, writes Kylie Miller
JTaken Out, PG Channel 10, Monday, 7pm New dating show Duration: 30 minutes AMES Kerley is the first to concede he’s no dating expert, but if his recent efforts are a measure of his success, he’s doing pretty well.
Kerley’s most romantic dating gesture was also his most successful— taking his paramour out to dinner then sweeping her away for several days in Broome for ‘‘a bit of romantic camel riding, eating food, walks’’. All on their second date. The lady was impressed and the relationship is going strong.
‘‘I don’t know that I’m an expert on dating, but hopefully in six months I’ll know a whole lot more,’’ says the Sydney-based host of new dating format Taken Out, which premieres on Channel 10 on Monday.
The show will be screened weeknights at 7pm, the timeslot previously reserved for other Ten format shows including the poor-rating Friends.
Developed by FremantleMedia in France but being produced for the first time in Australia, Taken Out borrows elements from various dating and game shows.
The CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, Mark Fennessy, says: ‘‘We are hoping for a big international format.
‘‘We designed and built the set, we got the opening titles produced, we went out and found the 30 girls and guys and we went out and got James Kerley, and he was a very good get.
‘‘He was cautious about taking it on, but when no one knows what it is, when it’s never existed before, it’s always hard. It’s good timing and the right kind of show for Ten.’’
Taken Out features a panel of 30 women, each with a light. A man is brought out and introduced to the women, who then decide whether to proceed.
Those who are not interested extinguish their light. ‘‘Initially the girls have all the control, so it’s a bit like reality in that sense,’’ Kerley says.
‘‘I’ll tell them something about the guy — just a basic bit of background — and they can decide to turn their lights off. It all happens quite fast, like speed dating or in bars where you make your decision fairly quickly.’’
The game gets spicy once Kerley starts questioning the women about their decision. What triggered the rejection? ‘‘That’s when I start stirring the pot with them. The guy is hearing really what they think of them on national telly,’’ Kerley says.
‘‘If all the girls reject the guy he goes home empty-handed, which can be fairly intense, and part of my role there is to lessen the blow to the poor fellow. I’ll crack a beer with him maybe afterwards.’’
But the man can also choose to reject any of the women who remain.
‘‘I’ll definitely try to stir things up, but if it gets to the point where you can feel that someone’s getting hurt we won’t push that line — people are fragile and you don’t want to go there,’’ Kerley says.
Though initially reluctant to take part in a TV dating show, Kerley was won over by the show’s contemporary slant.
‘‘Other dating shows have had cheesy bits— robots and people hiding behind doors. This is just a bunch of Aussies from all walks of life.’’
The series will be filmed in Melbourne over 10 weeks, with Kerley squeezing in his hosting duties with commitments to Channel [V], including daily request series WhatUWant.
He has recently returned from Europe, where he attended two festivals, Roskilde in Denmark and Benicassim in Valencia, for a new [V] travel series B430 and hopes his other series The Dave and Kerley Show, with Melbourne comic Dave Lawson, will return next year, along with edgy quiz show CashCab, which he also hosts.
Taken with dating:
James Kerley says he’ll ‘‘definitely try to stir things up’’ on Taken Out.