First Dates is looking for Manc couples to go on ‘background dates’ in new series

First Dates / Channel 4

First Dates is once again returning to film a new series in Manchester city centre and is looking for couples to be extras on ‘background dates’.

Filming for the new series of the hit Channel 4 dating show had already begun at Spinningfields restaurant The Refinery in March, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic understandably brought production to a halt.

With cameras set to start rolling again in the coming weeks, the producers have now issued an open casting call for ‘background daters’.

Making the announcement in a post to Instagram, the producers said: “The First Dates restaurant is coming to Manchester, and we’re looking for couples aged 18-21 from the local area to join us in the restaurant as background daters when the cameras arrive in the coming weeks,”

“Each couple will receive £50 towards the cost of their meal and will get to enjoy the atmosphere of the First Dates restaurant during filming, without the pressure of being a featured dater on a blind date”.

First Dates initially hit TV screens in the UK back in 2013.

The show’s simple format sees singletons matched up for a blind dinner date and there’s already an impressive success rate having led to several engagements, marriages and even a baby.

Even though production is set to get back underway soon, this series of First Dates is probably going to be a different show than the one we are used to as social distancing measures will be in place and couples will be prevented from exchanging in any form of physical contact, including hugging and kissing.

Earlier series’ of First Dates were previously filmed at restaurants in London, but production company Twenty Twenty said the Manchester move showed its commitment to the UK regions.

Managing Director Leanne Klein said: “We are very excited to be taking our flagship dating series to [Manchester]. With the move of the First Dates restaurant, we will have the chance to expose our daters to a brand new experience with a few exciting new tweaks to the much loved format.”

Madonna Benjamin – Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 – added: “We can’t wait to work with Twenty Twenty to continue building on the success of First Dates. The new restaurant location and regional production base provide exciting opportunities for the series.”

First Dates / Channel 4

Do you fancy going on what is potentially one of the best socially-distanced date nights there is in Manchester city centre right now?

To apply to become a ‘background dater’ on First Dates, you can email: [email protected]

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