ITV plans new prime-time dating show

A new dating show is to hit prime-time ITV, it was announced today, six years after long-running favourite Blind Date was axed.

ITV has struggled to find a successful dating format since the demise of Cilla Black's show, which was a staple of the Saturday night schedule for nearly 20 years.

Elaine Bedell, the broadcaster's director of entertainment and comedy said it was time for the dating show to return to prime-time television.

Take Me Out, hosted by comedian Paddy McGuinness, will feature 30 women from around the UK looking for Mr Right.

Each week one single man will walk into the studio and introduce himself to the women, who will each have a light in front of them.

If they decide the man is not for them, they switch it off, and the show will progress through a series of rounds until only one contestant is left.

With the same girls coming back each week, show producers hope viewers will get to know them as the series progresses and McGuinness tries to match them up.

McGuinness said: "To say I'm excited about hosting Take Me Out is an understatement.

"ITV and dating shows are a match made in heaven. It's going to be a lorra lorra fun kid, or should I say, flower!"

ITV has commissioned Talkback Thames, the makers of The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, to make an initial run of eight hour-long shows, which will be filmed in Manchester at the end of the year.

Transmission details are yet to be confirmed, but the show is likely to go out on ITV1 on Saturday nights in the new year.

Ms Bedell said: "I've long thought ITV should be back in the prime-time dating game and this is a great new, modern, dating show for ITV.

"We're also thrilled that Paddy's on board: he's funny, good-looking, and sympathetic - ideal qualities for a dating host."