Take Me Out (UK game show)

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Take Me Out
Genre Dating game show
Presented by Paddy McGuinness
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 92
Production location(s)
Running time 60–90 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)
Distributor FremantleMedia
Original network ITV
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 2 January 2010 (2010-01-02) – present
Related shows Take Me Out: The Gossip
The Love Machine
Blind Date
External links

Take Me Out is a dating game show presented by comedian Paddy McGuinness. Based on the Australian show Taken Out, it began airing on ITV in the United Kingdom and simulcast on TV3 in the Republic of Ireland on 2 January 2010. An unscreened pilot episode was made for Channel 4 in 2009, but it was ITV who picked it up for a series. The show is produced by Thames (formerly Talkback Thames). The show is currently sponsored by Match.com, as of 2018.

The first series was recorded at Granada Studios in Manchester, but has since been recorded at The Maidstone Studios in Maidstone, Kent, as it offered increased space and capacity for audience members.[1]

In 2012, the show introduced a spin-off show entitiled Take Me Out: The Gossip, which aired on ITV2 and was co-hosted by Zoe Hardman and Mark Wright in 2012 and 2013. It did not air in 2014, but returned in 2015 with Wright joined by new co-host Laura Jackson.[2]


The objective of the show is for a single man to obtain a date with one of thirty single women. The women stand on stage underneath thirty white lights, each with a button in front of them. A single man is then brought down on stage via the 'Love Lift' and tries to persuade the women to agree to this date in a series of rounds, playing a pre-recorded video discussing his background, displaying a skill (such as dancing or playing a musical instrument), or playing another video in which the man's friends or family reveal more about his virtues and philosophy.

At any point during the rounds, the women can press the button in front of them to turn off their light if they do not believe a date with this man would be constructive to their well-being and if this occurs, their area of the stage will turn red. If, at the end of three rounds, there are still lights left on, the bachelor will turn off all but two of the remaining lights himself. He will then have a chance to ask one question to the last two women, before choosing which woman he wants to go on the date with by turning off one more light. If the man is left with two lights at the end of round 3, he will just ask his question to the two remaining women and if there is only one light left at the end of round 3, he will go on the date with that girl without asking her his question. There are usually four men brought on in the course of a single episode, though on some occasions segments have been cut and only three men have been shown.

If all the women turn off their lights before the end of the third round - this is referred to as a "blackout" - then the man must leave the show without going on a date, accompanied by the Céline Dion version of the hit Eric Carmen song "All by Myself". In the first series, the successful couples conducted their date at FERNANDO'S! in Manchester, which is actually Club Bijou on Chapel Street, the outcome of which is shown as part of the following week's show. For the second series, the date took place abroad on the Isle of FERNANDO'S!, a fictional location based in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.[3] Previously the date took place in Cyprus. Successful couples leave the programme upstairs on the opposite side of the studio to the 'Love Lift', and a song, usually from the latin pop genre, will be played.[4]

Comedic value is mostly provided by McGuinness's array of catchphrases such as "Let the (object) see the (object)", "No likey, no lighty!", "If you're turned off, turn off", "If he's not Mr Right, turn off your light", "Get out there, turn one girl off and take one girl out!", "Come and get some Paddy love!", "The isle of...FERNANDO'S!".

Round 1

In this round the man comes down the love lift. He meets the girls and then says his name and where he is from. Paddy repeats but afterwards with one of catchphrases. Then the girls can turn off their light. From series 7 onwards, they have to write down a 'love at first light' from the girls who had left their lights on.

Round 2

This includes a pre-recorded video presented by the man. It sometimes includes interviews with his friends and family. It describes his personality and what they do. At any point the girls can turn off their light.

Round 3

In this round the man shows a skill in the studio. Alternately their friend or family can say a secret. At any point the girl can turn off their light.

Round 4

In this round the man turns off the lights of the remaining girls until just two are left lit. Alternatively, if there is only one or two girls left from round 3 then round 4 is skipped entirely.

Round 5

In this round the man asks the girls who are remaining a question. The man then turns off the light of one girl. Paddy questions the chosen girl if they would rather know the man's 'love at first light' or not. Then they meet, go up the big stairs opposite the love lift and have a backstage interview. Alternatively, if only one girl remains lit from round 3 then the man gets to choose between her and a "mysterious girl", who remains unseen until he makes his choice.


Original series

Series Start date End date Episodes Average viewers
1 2 January 2010 20 February 2010 8 4.83
2 11 December 2010 19 March 2011 14 4.63
3 7 January 2012 7 April 2012 14 4.81
4 6 October 2012 15 December 2012 10 3.29
5 5 January 2013 23 February 2013 8 4.06
6 4 January 2014 22 February 2014 8 3.64
7 3 January 2015 7 March 2015 10 3.05
8 2 January 2016 5 March 2016 10 3.00
9 15 April 2017 3 June 2017 8 3.11
10 6 January 2018 24 February 2018 8 TBA


Date Entitle
15 December 2012 Celebrity Christmas Special
20 December 2013 Over 50s Text Santa Special
31 December 2016 Celebrity Specials
19 February 2017
24 February 2018 10th Anniversary Celebrity Special
9 June 2018 Over 50s Special
16 June 2018 Celebrity Special

Take Me Out: The Gossip

Take Me Out: The Gossip was a behind-the-scenes sister show that began airing weekly on ITV2 from series 3-5 and 7-9, following the broadcast of the main programme. Most recently, it was presented by Laura Jackson and Mark Wright.[5] Zoe Hardman previously hosted the show with Wright.

A similar format, previously broadcast online, featuring backstage gossip and interviews with the contestants, was regularly made available on itv.com just hours after the broadcast of the main programme.

International versions



Take Me Out has proven popular with the public, generally pulling over 3 million viewers per episode.

Critical reception

In its early days, Take Me Out was reviewed negatively by critics. Shortly after the second series began in December 2010, The Guardian's Tim Dowling said that, "When you strip away its tired, utterly false premise, all that remains of Take Me Out is a lot of flashing lights and some scripted innuendo delivered in a range of regional accents."[6] Reviewing the show after the second series concluded in March 2011, Manchester Grouch of Manchester Central wrote: "ITV should consider renaming the show 'Desperate Moron Lift Disco'" and concluded the review by comparing it to "...a drunken Saturday night out that ends up in a dodgy club having a quick fumble with that girl from the hairdressers you’ve been eyeing up all week."[7] Writing for the Metro during the third series of the show in January 2012, Rachel Tarley said that Take Me Out was the "death knell for feminism disguised as entertainment".[8]

However, after the beginning of the fifth series in January 2013, Julia Raeside, also writing for The Guardian, admitted that the show had become "must-see TV" and was "a worthy successor to Blind Date": "...when Take Me Out noisily barged its way on to the Saturday night schedules in 2010, it was too much for me. The little I'd seen of it put me off trying a whole episode...But about a series ago, Take Me Out really started to grow on me. One night, out of sheer laziness, I didn't bother to switch over – and now they've got me. I don't like nightclubs and I cover my upper arms at all times. But the women behind those podiums, however much I fail to identify with them for wanting to be on TV with their armpits constantly on show, make it gripping viewing."[9]

Jim Brown

Wrestler Jim Brown, the first contestant on the first series, was accused of continually harassing his date Caroline Mellor despite the fact that their date did not work out. Caroline claimed to receive numerous phone calls and texts from him for over four months. Jim was later also charged with possession of child pornography on his computer.[10] Prior to this, Jim was caught pleasuring himself in a Wishaw Sports Centre cubicle, which alerted the police to investigate him.[11] On 21 March 2014, Jim was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for flouting a ban on going near children.[12]

Wen-Jing Mo and Aaron Withers

The date segment of contestant Wen-Jing Mo scoring a date with construction worker Aaron Withers was axed from the programme after it transpired that Aaron had a criminal conviction for punching a woman, had worked as an escort, and also had a long-term girlfriend, and that Wen-Jing had also worked as an escort for a short period ten years previously.[13]

Damion Merry

The studio segment of contestant Chelsea Stewart scoring a date with model Damion Merry caused controversy when broadcast. During the third and final round, it became apparent that Damion used to date reality television series personality Jodie Marsh, and he later told one of the girls who had turned her light off, Lucy Harrold, that he would have picked her, offending all the girls who still had their lights on.[14] It later transpired that not only was Damion not single at the time the programme was filmed, he was also about to marry his girlfriend Sarah Ann Gras; the segment was broadcast a month after the wedding took place.[15] On This Morning, Marsh later denied having ever dated Damion, saying: "I tell you what, this guy - I went on one date with him, one date...We had pictures in a nightclub, he sold the pictures to the TV show or whoever and gave 'em away and now, it's being told that we had a whole full blown relationship and that I was his ex-girlfriend."[16]

Rory Alexander

The studio segment of contestant Jade scoring a date with banker Rory Alexander was axed from the programme, after it transpired that Rory was serving a suspended sentence for common assault. Jade did not return to the show.[17]

Jarvis Walters

The studio segment of contestant Hannah Reville scoring a date with semi-professional footballer Jarvis Walters was axed from the programme, after it transpired that Jarvis had served a 12-month community order for assaulting another man in a nightclub in 2009. Hannah did not return to the show.[18]

Param Singh

Many viewers were extremely offended when one of the girls, who had left her light on for contestant Param Singh, made a joke about contestant Param's turban, saying she was interested in him because she could use his turban to store her phone. Despite the fact Param himself took it light-heartedly, many Sikhs found this remark to be extremely offensive. Param later went on to describe the backlash that he received from sections of the Sikh community.[19] [20] [21]

Fakery claims

In 2012, several of the contestants accused the show's producers of telling them whom to choose on each episode. Female contestants complained that they were forced to choose men who they didn't find attractive, while some of the show's male contestants went home without a date after the girls were told not to choose them.

"The whole thing is totally misleading and leaves a whole lot of people feeling humiliated and exploited afterwards," one girl who had appeared on the show told the media.

"The producers pulled some of the girls in and said, 'If you’re waiting for George Clooney or Brad Pitt, they’re not coming',"

"They told us to keep our lights on for the next contestant, who was more than 10 years younger than me. I refused and was taken off."

Other female contestants reported that producers had told them to reject certain men even if they liked them because it made better television.[22][23][24][25]


Take Me Out is cited by the creators of the website tubecrush.net as being an influence for their website, as they saw it as an example of how the sexual objectification of men had become part of mainstream culture in the UK.[26]

10th anniversary

On 24 February 2018 Take Me Out celebrated its 10th anniversary on ITV with a special edition of the show where the roles were reversed, with four women choosing from 30 men.[27]

Take Me Out – The Album

Take Me Out – The Album is a 60-song compilation album, which was released 18 November 2013.[28]

Track listing

Board game

A board game was released on 3 August 2011. It contains: light and buzzer number unit, 100 single man cards, 50 the power is in your hand cards, 1 single girl pad, 12 isle of Fernando's vouchers, coloured dice and rules.[29]


  1. ^ Bourne, Dianne (5 May 2011). "Paddy McGuinness hopes his show Take Me Out makes a 'return' date". Manchester Evening News. 
  2. ^ Sperling, Daniel (14 August 2012). "Take Me Out renewed for two more series by ITV". Digital Spy. 
  3. ^ "Cheap Package Holidays - Exclusive Offers - Last Minute Deals - Directline Holidays". 
  4. ^ "Where is the Isle of FERNANDO'S!?". Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Take Me Out and all new Take Me Out: The Gossip return to ITV and ITV2". "ITV Press Centre". 
  6. ^ Dowling, Tim (13 December 2013). "TV review: Take Me Out". The Guardian. London: Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "TV review: Take Me Out". Manchester Confidential. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Tarley, Rachel (21 January 2013). "Take Me Out is the death knell for feminism disguised as entertainment". Metro. London: Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Raeside, Julia (8 January 2013). "TV review: Take Me Out". The Guardian. London: Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Andy Crick and Alastair Taylor (23 January 2012). "'I was stalked by Take Me Out date' - Child porn fiend harassed mum". The Sun. London. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Paedophile who exposed himself at Wishaw Sports Centre freed from prison Daily Record
  12. ^ Cockerton, Paul (21 March 2014). "Serial sex offender who appeared on Take Me Out is jailed for two years after defying ban to stay away from children". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Allen, Emily (12 January 2012). "ITV Take Me Out: New scandal as winner Wen-Jing Mo reveals she was a 'prostitute'". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Take Me Out - Damion Merry: the most embarrassing moment EVER!! (4.2.12)". YouTube. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Sperling, Daniel (11 February 2012). "'Take Me Out' Jodie Marsh ex 'marries secret girlfriend'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Jodie Marsh denies dating Take Me Out rat Damion Merry". New!. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  17. ^ mirror.co.uk (14 January 2012). "Take Me Out rocked after SECOND criminal assault conviction is revealed". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  18. ^ Sheridan, Amy (28 March 2012). "Take Me Out beauty Hannah axed after her date hides his assault conviction". Daily Mail. London: Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "Is your faith holding you back?". Channel 4. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  20. ^ "Let the turban see the racists…". manvirchauhan. 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2018-09-09. 
  21. ^ "Take me out Saturday 5th Jan 2013 Review – Param Style". saviarora. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2018-09-09. 
  22. ^ Metro. "Take Me Out Branded Fake". 
  23. ^ Metro. "Fake Me Out:". 
  24. ^ Simon, Boyle. "Fake Me Out: Girls 'told which men to choose for date' in TV scam". 
  25. ^ Bunce, Jane (17 March 2012). "Dating show branded a sham". Daily Mail. London. 
  26. ^ Cooke, Matt (25 August 2011). "Tube and train commuters caught on camera". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  27. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/take-me-out-woman-pick-men-switch-10th-anniversary-history-paddy-mcguinness-a8220706.html
  28. ^ "Take Me Out - The Album: Amazon.co.uk: Music". 
  29. ^ "Take Me Out Board Game". 

External links