TV Highlights

First Dates

Channel 4 - 10pm

Who's in it?

Will there be fireworks when Natasha the explosives expert meets Scott the ex-jockey? Maybe not, but there are plenty of other couples to gawp at as First Dates returns for a new series.

In a nutshell

Let’s face it, dating is rubbish at the best of times. That awkward opening moment (tip: do NOT shake hands), the stumbling small talk as you nervously sip your drinks, and the ever-present risk that one of you will say something really dumb and make the other person recoil in fury or horror (tip: do NOT talk about gender relations, religion, or the Middle East crisis). The only thing more nerve-racking than a first date is a first date with a camera beaming every terrible moment to millions of smirking viewers.

Which is exactly what the plucky love-seekers sign up for in this endlessly entertaining show. The new run kicks off tonight with a lady called Natasha telling her prospective suitor about her job in fireworks – but it’s challenge enough to get him to remember her name. We’ll also meet Frankie and Muhala, who may have more luck, as well as a midwife named Kate who seems ideally paired up with paramedic Liam. Will their date be just what the doctor ordered?

What's the verdict?

A programme that’ll make couples feel smug, and singletons feel relieved they’re not currently on a date as cringey as any of these ones. Watch and squirm.

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07-07-2011