Hull Daily Mail - - TODAY’S TV -

IT’S the start of an in­cred­i­ble eleventh se­ries of the BAFTA award-win­ning show which does so much more than it says on the tin. Yes, we get to revel in the cringe fac­tor of watch­ing ner­vous peo­ple awk­wardly try to flirt, or even more awk­wardly try to give some­one the brush off. And yes, we can en­joy those “there but for the grace of God” mo­ments, as we watch one of the da­tees start cry­ing, or drop din­ner down their top, re­alise they have ab­so­lutely noth­ing in com­mon with the per­son they’ve been matched with or – even worse – used to go out with them. But it’s the sto­ries be­hind each of these hope­ful sin­gle­tons that el­e­vate this show to some­thing spe­cial. Each time they give us a few min­utes to meet the man or woman in ques­tion, see them in ac­tion, de­velop our own first im­pres­sions about who and what they are, and then bam! – they hit us with a tale of heart­break, or brav­ery, or a hid­den se­cret, that turns ev­ery­thing on its head and makes us re­alise you can’t judge a book by its cover, and all those other very valid clichés.

Those look­ing for love tonight in­clude home­body

Abbi, who’s more into cups of tea than cock­tails, and pol­i­tics stu­dent Cameron whose fash­ion in­spi­ra­tion is Cruella De Vil and whose po­lit­i­cal in­spi­ra­tion is Mag­gie Thatcher.

Then there’s 75-year-old di­vor­cée Deanna, who brings a shop­ping trol­ley full of snacks and treats, and stun­ning beau­ti­cian Bianca from Brad­ford, who at first is a bit over­whelmed by her date Teza’s con­fi­dence, un­til they both learn there’s way more to each other than meets the eye.

If you can find your­self watch­ing this with­out beam­ing and smil­ing, and also shed­ding a tear or two, then you have a heart of stone.

FIRST DATES Chan­nel 4, 10pm

Bianca and Teza Joe and Cameron

Alex and Deanna Lee and Abi

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