You’re in for one wet and wild summer! Everyone is eagerly awaiting the return of Love Island at the end of the month, but until then, there are plenty of other shows making a splash on screen
By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer
Looking for something that’s here for a good time AND a long time? These are the reality dating series that are bound to tick all the boxes on the box. Think of us as your television matchmakers! Read the cheeky bios and then decide which profiles you would swipe left or right on.
They’re all great catches, so we have no doubt you’ll want to spend the night with each of them – but these won’t be one-night stands, you’ll want to call back on them the next day and the next and the next. Check them out...
Find series 2, episodes 1-4 in Apps & Games > Netflix from Wednesday 23 June and episodes 5-10 from Wednesday 30 June. Series 1 available now
This lockdown saviour and Love Island buffer returns for series 2, giving the people what they truly want! As we’re allowed to hug again (what a thrill!), why not watch a show where beautiful people aren’t allowed to touch each other? Well, they are, but it means money is deducted from their shared money pot of $100,000 (almost £71,000) with each sexual act.
Virtual assistant Lana is back to give them a slap on the wrist (not literally, they could just unplug her) when things get too frisky. With a kiss costing the group $3,000 (about £2,100) in series 1, will the new hotties be able to keep their hands to themselves (and sanitised)?
Coming to ITV2/HD (CH 115/176) on Monday 28 June
We’ve got a text and it says that Love Island is BACK, baby! Let us cool off in the fridge for a second and sexily eat some fruit! PHEW, is it hot in here or is it just the latest batch of sizzling singletons coming to spice up our summer? Only Love Island could keep us in when we’re actually allowed to go back out again, but we would not miss this for the world. Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling, do your thang.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > ITV Hub
Confessing your undying love to someone on national television is a bold move, and one that may or may not pay off in Secret Crush. The crushee (this sounds wrong, but roll with it) knows that there is a crusher (also very, very wrong) out there who likes them, but they have no idea who it is until they reveal their feelings on camera during a date. If you thought school was cringey (passing your crush a note or having your friend tell them you fancy them through fits of giggles before running away), this is a whole other level of OMG.
Find series 1 & 2 in Apps & Games > ITV Hub
Olivia Attwood, who shot to fame after appearing on series 3 of Love Island, returns for a second series of this show about her life with fiancé Bradley Dack. The Blackburn Rovers footballer is recovering from a knee ligament injury, which is partly why they’ve had to put the wedding on hold. Also, the small matter of the pandemic. Check out how they’re settling in to their new home in Manchester.
Coming to ITV2/HD (CH 115/176) this autumn
Comedian Katherine Ryan will host this brand-new dating game show which is The Bachelor, but with bad intentions. While one single girl hunts for her Mr Right, 12 male suitors (some single, some taken) attempt to win her over for the chance to win a cash prize. For those who are already loved up, their partners give them helpful hints on how to make it to the finish line (so their boyfriend can spend the money on an engagement ring – duh). Let the love games begin…
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > ITV Hub. Series 2 coming in 2022
Matched couples meet for the first time at their holiday home – a cabin located in picturesque Cumbria. After spending a full day together, and navigating the awkward sleeping arrangements conversation (will one be confined to the pull-out bed or will they both share the bed-bed?), they decide whether to “check-in” for another night or to pack their bags. Unlike Love Island, there are same-sex couples, which is a much-needed upgrade, and no opportunities to leave their partner for someone new.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > ITV Hub
Love Bites is a blend of Dinner Date and Ready Steady Cook, where three individuals cook a three-course meal side by side using the same ingredients to wow their date. The singleton then chooses one of them to date based on their culinary skills alone. Just like Dinner Date, we know the food doesn’t really matter – it’s all about how things heat up outside of the kitchen.
Watching Scarlett Moffatt present is part of the fun too, as she giggles her way through explaining the dishes and advises when not to eat something, like a piece of suspiciously pink chicken. Hey, we never said the participants could cook well.
Find series 1 & 2 in Apps & Games > All 4
Filmed before being locked up in a house was compulsory, the dating series where five single lads live with a woman looking for love IN HER ACTUAL HOUSE will have you hooked. Check out our interview with Tara from episode one of series 2, and Chris, one of her five suitors, who tried to woo her with a chocolate tart, here.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer
In snackable 25-minute episodes, couples put their relationships to the test by each going on a date with someone else. Will this make or break the couples at a crossroads? Find out when they regroup the next day for a date debrief and one big decision.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > All 4
Seven famous faces bubble up with their potential matches in a mansion in Surrey, which means no chance of ghosting and a big win for the proximity principle (where people form relationships with those physically near to them).
Dating experts Paul C Brunson and Anna Williamson, assisted by junior client co-ordinator Tom Read Wilson, are on hand to help DJ Tom Zanetti, reality stars Sophie Hermann, Curtis Pritchard and Chloe Ferry, actors Kimberly Hart Simpson and Karim Zeroual and businessman Wayne Lineker find luuuurve.
Mondays, 10pm, E4/HD (CH 106/145). Also available in Apps & Games > All 4
This format promises more drama than you can shake a coconut at. Couples arrive very much together and talk about being on the same page about “testing” their relationship or going on a “journey” so they can come out “stronger than ever”. It sounds good in theory, but this TV show, which is essentially just the Casa Amor bit of Love Island (in other words: the best bit), typically spells disaster for the couples.
The pairs travel to the Hawaiian island of Maui, where they separate and begin living with a group of singles of the opposite sex to see whether they’ll be tempted. They’re also shown out-of-context videos of their significant other in situations that can easily be misinterpreted. At the end of the series, they regroup to decide whether to stick it out, split up or even leave with someone else! Somehow, we think Ross’ excuse of “We were on a break” isn’t gonna cut it here.
Find series 4-6 in Apps & Games > All 4
The UK version pales in comparison to the Aussie edition – we just don’t do it like they do Down Under! There are only about four episodes in each of our series, whereas Married At First Sight Australia series 6 (the latest to air in the UK) spans a whopping 40! It’s an explosive one, and all we’ll say is that some people feel they would be better matched with someone else’s other half.
Experts put people together based on compatibility factors and then the couples meet for the first time at the wedding ceremony (which is NOT legally binding in the Australian version) – exchanging names and then vows. They have eight weeks to bond and get to know each other, while enduring several relationship tests, like living together and meeting friends and family. At the end of each week, a commitment ceremony takes place, where each member of the couple decides to stay or leave. If one of them decides to stay and one of them decides to leave, they must still continue trying to make it work for another week until the next ceremony.
Find First Dates series 1-16 in Apps & Games > All 4. Find Teen First Dates series 1 in Apps & Games > All 4. Find First Dates Hotel series 1-6 in Apps & Games > All 4
For series 16, instead of pairing lovers in London, the show is now making matches in Manchester. A new batch of singletons, young and old, step foot inside cocktail bar and restaurant The Refinery in the hopes of finding a connection. Rigorous testing, self-isolation and a bubble system meant Cupid’s arrow could continue to strike (safely). Does that mean they were allowed to kiss? YES! As Fred Sirieix would say, “Ooh la la!” Teen First Dates, featuring participants aged 16-19, was also filmed in The Refinery.
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