Take Me Out: 35 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets We Learned When We Visited The Set Of ITV’s Dating Show
Take Me Out, just like Blind Date before it, is the perfect warm-up for anyone heading out on a Saturday night. It’s basically a televised version of the rituals that happen in every pub and club up and down the country at the weekend. Just with less alcohol and minus the bizarre party tricks. Possibly.
The show returns for its 11th series this weekend and once again will feature 30 single women looking for Mr. Right – or possibly just a free holiday.
But what actually goes into making the ITV series?
Take Me Out facts, reveal yourselves...
1. Around 20,000 women applied for the 2019 series of the show.
2. This year’s Flirty Thirty are a talented bunch including a master’s student, a stunt horse rider and a close-protection officer to A-listers including Samuel L Jackson.
3. Meanwhile, the boys coming down the love lift this series have a diverse range of careers including a RoyalMarine, country singer, farmer, professional mountain biker and a pilot.
4. If you make it to the audition stage, you get to meet host Paddy McGuinness. If that wasn’t exciting enough, after a five-minute chat with the presenter, each potential contestant gets to take part in a mini-version of the show.
5. None of the contestants are paid. They all volunteer to go on the show and take time out of work and other commitments to go and film.
6. It’s a l-o-n-g day. Most contestants will be there from 10am until 10pm every day for two weeks (depending on if they get picked) and film up to three episodes at a time. In heels. Ouch.
7. Which is why some of the women put Bonjela (!) on their feet to help with the pain.
8. If you think the contestants get a free wardrobe, think again. Each girl brings their own outfits from home – and she’ll need a few options if she doesn’t get picked in week one.
9. Ten options to be precise – as well as one pair of black shoes and one pair of nude shoes.
10. That doesn’t mean the contestants can wear what they want though. An on-set stylist consults with each girl on their outfit choices and lets them know what clothes won’t work for TV – like stripes or heavy patterns.
11. A glam squad of ten make-up artists, six hair stylists and five dressers get the girls show ready.
12. It’s a long process… The first contestant starts getting ready around midday, and the last girls aren’t done until 6pm.
13. It takes around two and a half hours to get each girl ready.
14. All the women are put up in the same hotel throughout the filming period.
15. However, the men are kept separate in different accommodation to ensure their paths don’t cross with any of their potential matches.
16. The men and women are kept entirely separate before the show too – they don’t even see each other in dress rehearsals.
17. The men choose the song they come down in the Love Lift to. They email the production team with a song they think will impress the girls – or one that sums up their personality.
18. And as for those cheesy dances the men perform? They have a choreographer to help them out. Yes, really.
19. The fictional Isle of Fernando’s is actually Tenerife.
20. The women all pack a case and bring it to set every day of filming, in case they get picked.
21. There’s no hanging around, with each matched couple jetting off at 3am the day after they’re matched.
22. Even if the couple don’t get on, they still have to fly back together. Awkward.
23. The cheesy lines the women dish out really are mostly improvised. Because they don’t know anything about the men before they come on, they usually have to think on their feet.
24. That said, this year’s women have a WhatsApp group where they try to come up with potential one-liners for different scenarios.
25. Instead of the boys coming down the Love Lift in dress rehearsals, members of the production team stand in as contestants.
26. The Love Lift is actually a high capacity winch, which is worked by wires connected to the roof of the studio.
27. It’s not a manual job though – the lift is computer controlled.
28. The men’s Love Lift entrance takes longer (around 12 seconds) than host Paddy’s. According to the lift operator: “The boys’ is slow, so you get the tease – you don’t want to give too much away too quickly.”
29. It’s also the lift operator’s job to prep the guys and calm their nerves before they descend in the Love Lift. “I had a guy the other day who just held on to me and wouldn’t let go,” he said.
30. To date Paddy has delivered exactly 398 of his famous ‘Let the….’ catchphrases.
31. To ensure he never says the same phrase twice, Paddy keeps a database of them all on a laptop.
32. A lot of the phrases are themed for each episode. Paddy explains: “For instance, the theme for one episode is cheesy pop. We’ll include phrases such as, ‘Let the cheeky see the girls’ and ‘let the Venga see the boys’, that kind of thing.”
33. Paddy has people coming up to him and saying his catchphrases all the time - but it isn’t always appropriate. “I was once at a funeral when someone said to me, ‘Let the ashes see the urn,’ which I thought was a bit odd. I mean, there’s a time and a place,” he reveals.
34. Paddy insists that real people with a range of bodies take part. “My only note is that we have to have an eclectic mix of people,” he says. “It’s pointless having four male models and 30 female models behind the podiums, because life’s not like that. Everyday life is about different people from different walks of life, all different shapes and sizes and different interests.”
35. So far, there have been eight weddings and six babies as a result of the show.
Take Me Out returns to ITV at 7.15pm on Saturday 26 October.
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