Others have started blogging their thoughts. So I thought it would be worth sharing them, partly to show I’m not the only one and highlight other thoughts.
I was number 2004, therefore expecting to be quite early on in the process, however the first few groups came and went and I was still left sat there in my seat. This happened to Adam and one of the Richards as well. When my number was skipped a second time, I began to wonder if Miss 1004 was even in the room. Turns out she wasn’t, and I ended up being paired off with a different girl, who, though being nice enough, was not my type at all, and it was clearly obvious I wasn’t hers as well! Martyn had a similar story with his match, no chemistry, and Adam decided he would rather not be matched with a random girl, not his perfect match, and dint stay to go up on the stage!
It started off fairly promising as some of the couples looked well suited, but as the process was drawn out a lot of the matches seemed completely bizarre pairings, and it didn’t take long before couples were showing obvious signs of disapproval on stage in front of the 1000 person crowd. In fact I half expected Jeremy Kyle to spring up at one point as a lad walked off about 5 paces in front of his ‘match’ to a chorus of boos.
I should point out that this went on for a good 4 hours due to the stop-start nature of calling up couples to the stage, and by this time many had lost interest. I felt faint and tired due to not eating or drinking, but just as my eyes were starting to close Adam tapped me and said ‘they’ve just called your number!’ I picked myself up and headed behind the screen to the side of the stage. Whilst the 5 of us lads waited like lambs to the slaughter, we exchanged a bit of last-minute banter, but this is where the nerves began to creep in.
Interesting to read what a gay guy also at the event thought of the whole thing
I entered this endeavour ready to tell horror stories of how we were herded like cattle (which we were), where no one got what they wanted (one guy left out of frustration of having to wait to be part of the 901st couple to be matched), and where the only people involved were just desperate to be on the telly (this happened a lot – me and the boy in question traded stories from the boys and girls sides respectively), but my personal experience was nothing like the sceptical versions we tell ourselves as an audience member: I found someone I genuinely liked, who seemed to like me back, and who I could actually see as a potential partner. Bollocks.
And now Channel4 are jumping in with there own Dating show… Geez, do I have to say anything more!?
Interestingly a breach of contract seems to be effective, so maybe I can remove the disclaimer? According to one person on FB
my sister is a lawyer and she said if i dont hear anything by the end of the week she will send a stern and threatening letter. they broke their contract by saying we will leave the venue by 6pm i left at 8:15. so i will defo get it back
And from the Facebook group Matthew Stokes said,
TV programes are made for the viewers, not for the people taking part. A few digrunteled people, however justified, are not going to be a big concern to the production company, their parent company, and certainly not to the BBC. Don’t kid yourselves. Sorry, but I wouldnt waste too much of your time ranting, complaining, and kicking up a fuss. You are best turning that into positive energy, meeting some cool and sexy people on here, making plans to meet up, and going to one of the events we have arranged ourselves. Its a great display of the human condition that in adversity, groups like this crop up and we are moving on to bigger better sexier things!
The producers clearly didnt set out to upset people, but their main aim is to make a good TV progamme, not to keep 1000 random people entertained. Yes, they will HAVE to arrange to film specific people, yes some of it will be a little contrived, and yes sadly some peoples time will have been wasted. Trust me, if Saturday could have gone any better/smoother/easier than it did, they would have been far happier too. I for-warned them of the issues they were going to face last Thursday on the phone, and I got the impression that they knew it was going to be a toughie. Sadly, it seems that some programme makers are not the best at people management, time management, or logistics! All of this being said, we were there FOR THE PROGRAM. No one paid anything to be there, no one had any guarantees, and we all knew what the concept of the show was. Anyone expecting a second event to meet matches, or payments, or compensation will be sadly disappointed. The apology that we have received is all that we will get, and I do feel bad for people that waited all day, had bad journeys getting home, and spent money to be there.
And this is where I get very twitchy and slightly on my high horse.
It is great positive things come out of adversity however I reject the fact TV programmes HAVE to be about exploitation of people. There is certainly a reason why I work for the BBC