Channel 4 and Fred Sirieix have announced that they are launching a spin-off of hit show First Dates, featuring teenagers.
The new show, simply called Teen First Dates, is set to air on E4, a subsidiary of Channel 4 which is aimed at a younger audience. The six-part series is been produced by the same production company as the regular First Dates, Twenty Twenty productions, and the show will be filmed in Manchester, with production scheduled to begin later this year.
Teen First Dates will feature contestants between 16 and 19 years old, meaning that for some of them, this will be the first date that they have ever been on. The show is also keen to be promote diversity, with straight, gay, lesbian and trans teenagers all taking part in the programme.
The new programme comes at a time when other popular dating shows, such as ITV2’s Love Island, have faced criticism for only featuring slim and conventionally good looking singletons. Instead, Teen First Dates promises to showcase a more realistic and diverse cross-section of society’s teenagers.
Naturally, there may also be some concerns surrounding putting impressionable teenagers on television in these circumstances. However, a source speaking to The Sun newspaper said: “As the contestants are more inexperienced, crew are keen to be gentle with them and are expecting a lot of nerves, especially as some won’t have been on a date before.”
First Dates debuted on Channel 4 in 2013 and is among the channel’s most popular programmes. Earlier this year, the show announced that after 15 series, it would no longer be filmed in London’s Paternoster Chophouse restaurant, and would instead be moving to a new location – an as-yet-unnamed restaurant in Manchester.
If you want to try your luck at dating without doing it on national television, take a look at our pick of the best first date restaurants in London.