We fell in love on Take Me Out; HOW HIT DATING SHOW HELPED ONE LUCKY GIRL FIND VALENTINE'S DAY MR RIGHT.
IT'S the hit dating show which has five million viewers gripped on Saturday nights.
Each week on Take Me Out comedian Paddy McGuinness plays cupid to try to help 30 single women find their very own Mr Right.
And this Valentine's Day, contestant Viv Cheng, 23, is happier than most - she has found love after being picked on the show, which is being dubbed the new Blind Date.
The supermarket manager from Cardiff has been dating banker Brett Farnworth, 24, from Glasgow, for four months. She says: "I went on the show for a bit of fun and never really thought I'd find love but Brett and I just clicked. He's really lovely and we hit it off from the moment we clocked eyes on each other.
"We can't wait to spend our first Valentine's together - Brett's promised me a big surprise. It's a definite case of watch this space as we've hopefully got a big future together. Paddy may have to go out and get a hat Cilla style."
Paddy, who has made his "no likey, no lighty" the programme's catchphrase, describes Take Me Out as a guilty pleasure.
Each week the ITV1 show aims to match single men with one of 30 female contestants from across the UK. Bachelors come down the show's "Love Lift" to meet the women, who switch off their lights if they are not impressed - or keep them on if they're keen.
The women rule themselves in or out as details of the man's personality and life are revealed, before one is chosen for a date - and the rest stay on the show. Viv says: "As soon as I saw Brett I knew I wasn't going to turn off my light. He is gorgeous. Unsurprisingly, quite a few girls left their lights on so when he chose me I couldn't believe it."
The couple were whisked off to the fictional Isle of Fernando, in reality a resort in Tenerife, for their first date. Viv says: "At the end Brett gave me a kiss, which was lovely. But he was the perfect gentleman." They are now having a longdistance relationship between her home in Wales and his in Scotland.
Before the show she had been single for a year, since splitting with her only serious boyfriend after seven years.
She says: "I was heartbroken. But now I've been swept off my feet. This time next year... you never know."
She's not the only one struck by Cupid - host Paddy, 37, has found his perfect match in former Miss Liverpool Christine Martin, 22. They got engaged at Christmas after dating for three years and plan to marry in the summer.
Paddy, who made his name alongside Peter Kay in Phoenix Nights, says: "I am a romantic but I think Christine would disagree with you. I'm a lad's lad.
"I love going to play football with my mates during the week and all the usual blokey things. I think you grow up. And you know one day you are going to have a family and you are going to get married. I'd love to have children."
Paddy says he is not surprised about comparisons with Cilla Black on Blind Date, which ran for 18 years.
He says: "They are big high heels to fill. I would never compare myself to her in a million years - you can't as she's a legend. I always thought if we could get even one per cent of Blind Date's success then we are doing all right. We just have a right laugh on the show and I think people can see that. I was on a train and bumped into Rio Ferdinand. He said, 'Did that Lucy get a date?'".
Take Me Out, ITV1, 8pm Saturdays
PADDY'S DATING TIPS FOR BOYS
BE a gentleman. A peck on the cheek at the end of the night if you've had a nice night is great.
LIE Through Your Teeth - it's no good saying I love football, playing on an Xbox and going to the pub.
DRESS smart...no baggy jeans and frayed shirts. IF you're not feeling anything be honest.
DON'T try too hard. Buying a drink is fine. But don't go over the top. She might want to buy you one too.
PADDY'S DATING TIPS FOR GIRLS
DON'T keep looking at your phone.
LAUGH at a few of his jokes. DON'T talk about exes - and particularly how successful they are.
LESS is more. Don't go over the top with your outfit or his eyes could be drawn to other places.
BE honest. If you work at Tesco don't say you are a supermodel. He might be intimidated.
GIRLS FROM SHOW REVEAL THEIR DATING DISASTERS AND WHO THEIR IDEAL MAN WOULD BE
CORENE CAMPBELL, 27, from Luton, Beds
Weeks on the show: 10 The singer and former X Factor contestant says her biggest dating disaster was at an exclusive restaurant: "He pulled out the chair and I tripped. My laugh reverberated around the restaurant. For our second date he said: 'Let's order in'."
PEGGY LAWRENCE, 20, from Bexley, Kent
Weeks on the show: 9 The business student says her biggest dating disaster was when she wore a wig to impress a man. She says: "I was texting this guy who said he liked blondes. I said I'd dye my hair for him and he asked me out. But he turned up in a convertible and my wig blew off."
MATHS teacher CAROL HICKEY, 25, from Limerick, Ireland, was picked last night by South African DJ Charles. She says her biggest dating disaster was a cinema date to see a tearjerker which made her sob - leaving her with "puffy panda eyes". Her funniest? "I blurted out to one guy that I wanted to discuss 'tactics and positions'." She meant football, of course.
TWIN CAT WILKINSON, 20, from Oakham, Rutland
Weeks on the show: 7 The Lancs fashion student says her biggest dating disaster was a seven-month romance when she paid for everything on every date - then found out the man was cheating on her. Her best moment on the show was meeting TV host Paddy: "He's such a charmer. It's just a shame he's spoken for."
CAT'S twin sister SAM WILKINSON, 20 Weeks on the show: 7
The Manchester University geography student says her favourite moment on the show was when a woman took a tumble: "It was hilarious." Her worst dating disaster was when a bloke cancelled a date with the pathetic excuse: "I've just bought a pair of gloves - I can't afford it."
NATALIE BOOTH, 29, from South London, was picked last night by Simon.
The accessories buyer, whose ideal man is Russell Brand, says her best moments on the show have been the most embarrassing. She says: "The girls were dissing a guy for his dress sense. I said, 'I don't know why you are worried - clothes come off easily enough'. That was a bit cringeworthy."
STACEY DIXON, 19, from Wolverhampton, W Mids
Weeks on the show: 7 The balloon shop owner's worst date was when her car broke down outside her date's parents' home. "I have a Corsa called Percy that just wouldn't start. It ended with his family pushing us down the road like something from Only Fools and Horses. Not surprisingly I literally got the push."
LUCY EVANS, 19, from Bridgend, South Wales
Weeks on the show: 9
The forensic chemistry student's worst date was a holiday in Cuba with her ex. "We were both struck down with severe food poisoning and it was like a scene from the Exorcist." She says her best two moments on Take Me Out were when hunks Jake the Cake and Sampson were on the show: "I was so excited."
Perfect match... Viv with new love Brett The Saturday night show is a huge hit Paddy & Christine will marry this year Viv, pictured on the show with Brett, left, says she fell for him at first sight
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Feb 13, 2011|
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