Dating show branded a sham as Take Me Out producers 'tell girls which partners to pick'
11:46 GMT, 17 March 2012
Contestants on Take Me Out have reportedly labelled the ITV dating programme a sham amid claims producers are telling them who they are allowed to pick.
Several girls have alleged that producers told them they would be kicked off the programme unless they agreed to show an interest in men who did not attract them.
And male contestants were apparently left humiliated by leaving the show dateless, after women were ordered not to choose them.
No lighty, no likey! Some contestants on the show, hosted by Paddy McGuiness, have alleged that producers try to tell them who to pick
'The whole thing is totally misleading and leaves a whole lot of people feeling humiliated and exploited afterwards,' one girl apparently complained.
Programme makers Talkback Thames have denied the claims. The TV show has been dogged by controversies this season, after it emerged a male contestant was an escort, and the girl he picked later revealed she used to work as a prostitute.
On the popular programme, a single man tries to impress 30 single ladies across a series of rounds. Each girl has a light which they switch off if they are not interested. If any girls have their lights on at the end, the men can pick one of them to take on a date.
Each prospective Romeo faces 30 single women and their lights. But now some contestants have alleged they are being told who to pick
One contestant reportedly complained that production staff had ordered the girls to be less picky and keep their lights on for a man who didn't interest them.
'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,' she told the Daily Mirror.
Girls who had not picked any men after a few weeks may also be cut from the show.
Another girl reported that producers also deliberately dragged out scenes with the 'more eccentric male contestants' by ordering girls to leave their lights on even when none of the women were interested.
Producers also apparently ordered them to reject men down even if they liked them, 'to make better television', one girl claimed.
'I really fancied a bloke on my first week on the show, he was just my type, but the producers made it quite clear I wasn't to pick him and he left without a date.
'It's a shame because in the end he went away feeling a fool for going on the show.'
The girl ended up going on a date with another man she wasn't really interested in, billing it 'a waste of time'.
But after telling the original beau when filming finished that she had actually been interested, they ended up seeing each other outside the show.
One prospective Romeo apparently took his complaints to the programme-makers, telling them he knew that some girls had wanted to pick him but had been asked to turn him down.
Claims: Producers told some female contestants 'if you're waiting for George Clooney or Brad Pitt, they're not coming'
The makers, Talkback Thames, denied all the claims.