Take Me Out



Paddy McGuinness


ITV2 coverage (Take Me Out: The Gossip):
Mark Wright (2012-17)
Zoe Hardman (2012-13)
Laura Jackson (2015-17)


TalkbackThames for ITV1, 2 January 2010 to 7 April 2012 (36 episodes in 3 series)

Thames for ITV1, 6 October 2012 to 28 December 2019 (74 episodes in 8 series)

Take Me Out: The Gossip Thames for ITV2, 7 January 2012 to 3 June 2017


Paddy McGuinness, the seemingly self-appointed "General Love-meister", hosts a dating programme in which 30 single women are looking for love. The show opens with the thirty single women entering down a staircase, before standing behind a podium bearing their name, with fifteen podiums on each side of the central love lift. Once the women are in place, Mr McGuinness makes a cheesy, and sometimes mildly suggestive comment along the lines of, 'Let the butter, see the crumpet', or, 'Let the tomato, see the sauce', followed by a cry of 'Single man. Reveal yourself!'. At this point a man descends in the love lift, to the sound of a song we are told he has chosen himself. Once he has briefly strutted around in front of the women, we move on to the main game.

Love in an elevator, livin' it up when I'm goin' down

The first round, is perhaps the quickest, and certainly the most superficial. Here, based only on the man's appearance, choice of music, name, and home town, the 30 women must declare themselves in or out, by means of pressing a button on their podium, which will turn their light from white to red, or in the words of the host, 'No likey, no lighty'. Once some, none or fewer of the women have declared themselves out, the host makes his way over for a brief chat with some of the women to see why they made the choice they did.

No likey.

The second and third rounds often swap places in the running order, but each round sticks to the same format each time it is played. One round will see the man display some kind of skill or talent. This can be anything from musical skills to physical prowess. During their performance, the remaining women are once again afforded the opportunity to declare themselves out by pressing the button on their podium.

This man's talent is strapping some metal around his waist and attacking it with an angle grinder. The image being superimposed on the backdrop is a live performance taking place on the staircase just below where we're viewing this panorama from - the sparks you see at the bottom are the same ones seen on the "screen".

The other round sees a video clip played of the man talking about themselves, their hobbies and interests, and what they look for in a women. The man's family members often feature in the video clip too, often revealing things the man would rather be kept quiet, more often that not resulting in a few more women declaring themselves out.

Scene from "Attack of the 50ft Gymnast"

If at any point during the three rounds, all 30 women declare themselves out, the man leaves without a date. However if some women are still in play at the end of the three rounds, then the man has definitely got a date. If only one woman remains in play, then they will automatically go on a date with the man. If two women remain then they are each asked the same question by the man, to which they must provide an answer on the spot, the more suggestive the better. If more than two woman remain after the end of round three, then the man must walk along the row of podiums, and turn off the lights of the women he is not interested in, leaving just two to answer his question.

The last two selected by the man

Once the two women have answered the question, the man then walks over to the podium of the woman he is not interested in, and turns out her light, thereby setting up a date with the last remaining woman.

Done and dusted, then.

Initially, unlike it's predecessor, no expense was spent on the location for the dates. No foreign holidays here, just a visit to what we were told is Manchester's most exclusive nightclub, Fernando's. It's here where the lucky couple wasted a few hours of their life, highlights of which we could see on next week's programme. For the second series, ITV found a few pennies down the back of the sofa, as they jettisoned Fernando's nightclub, in favour of sending the potential lovebirds to the programme's own 'Island of Love' (also called Fernando's, but which as far as we can tell was Tenerife in the second and fourth series, and Cyprus in the third) for their date. Once the couple have been sent on their way, the whole of the above is repeated a further three times.

Please drink responsibly

In short, it's cheap, it's lowbrow, but it never professes to be anything else, and it has become something of a sleeper hit.


'Single man, Reveal yourself!'

'No likey, no lighty'

'Ladies/Girls. Are you turned on, or turned off?'

'If you're turned off, turn off'

'If he's not Mr. Right, turn off your light'

'Turn one girl off, and take one girl out'

'Girls, until next time, it's light out, all out'


The idea was originally French, then piloted in the UK. An Australian version (called 'Taken Out') was made based on the UK pilot before our version aired. Ironically, the French have never managed to get this on air though it is now on air in several other countries.


Although the name isn't real, Fernando's, where the couples were sent on their dates in the first series, is a real nightclub, and not a purpose-built set. The club is actually called Bijou, and is located on Manchester's Chapel Street, near the city's arena.

The first series was recorded at The Manchester Studios, with the second series moving to The Maidstone Studios.

From the second series, the programme was broadcast in high definition.

The second series saw the introduction of a web-exclusive programme entitled Take Me Out: The Gossip, which revealed behind-the-scenes news and well, gossip, about the participants and their dates. This was developed further into a full ITV2 spin-off show for the third series in 2012.

Take Me Out was turned down by BBC3 and Channel 4 before ITV picked it up. Channel 4 implied that Paddy McGuinness wouldn't work for their viewers, a lesson they might have remembered when making Benchmark.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

The show publicised the hashtag #takemeout.

See also

Weaver's Week review


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