DIN­NER FOR TWO A SITE FOR CUPID

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH -

In­side a Syd­ney restau­rant over the course of nine evenings, mul­ti­ple blind dates were filmed by “dis­creet” cam­eras spot­ted through­out the venue. Ev­ery ner­vous gig­gle, sweaty brow and eye-widen­ing mo­ment was cap­tured as two strangers got to know each other be­fore de­cid­ing whether or not to meet up for a se­cond, off-cam­era, date.

De­scribed as Gog­gle­box meets Per­fect Match, First Dates is a huge hit in the UK where the for­mat orig­i­nated. And it looks like the lo­cal ver­sion will fol­low suit.

“It’s not re­al­ity tele­vi­sion, it’s not a com­pe­ti­tion, it’s very much an ob­ser­va­tional show where real peo­ple are go­ing on real first dates,” says First Dates ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Geral­dine Or­rock.

A team of pro­duc­ers spent 12 weeks match­ing up sin­gles who’d ap­plied for the show.

De­scrib­ing cast­ing as be­ing akin to a tra­di­tional match­mak­ing process, Or­rock says the suc­cess of the show lies in the con­nec­tion view­ers will form with the din­ers.

“We al­ways match peo­ple for a match and we’re all hop­ing for suc­cess on each date,” she swears. “And if the match you’ve put to­gether turns into a TV car crash mo­ment? Then it hap­pens nat­u­rally.”

FIRST DATES, CHAN­NEL 7, WED­NES­DAY, 9PM

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