With love in the air this Valentine’s Day, Paddy McGuinness reveals what he’s learned about love and dating from his show Take Me Out, which continues on Saturdays on ITV1.
Paddy McGuinness must know a thing or two about love. Not only is he happily married to gorgeous model Christine Martin, but he’s the host of hit dating show Take Me Out.
The Saturday night show sees single men parade themselves in front of a panel of single girls who, on McGuinness’s order of ‘no likey, no lighty’, show their judgment of the men in question by switching off the light in front of them, or keeping it on.
When just two girls’ lights remain on, the man gets to chose his favourite between them, and the paired-off couple go on a date to the mystery ‘Island of Fernando’.
It’s a winning formula, and McGuinness is only too happy to share what it’s taught him about the dating game.
Be complimentary, not cocky
“I always tell the lads on the show, ‘Look, when you first come out, give the girls a little compliment, introduce yourself, and don’t be overly cocky’. It won’t matter if Brad Pitt walked out that lift, if the guy’s cocky the girls will just turn their lights off.
“If the lads on the show don’t get a date it must be because of something they’ve said, as we’ve never had a black-out on the first round, which is based purely on looks. If a lad gets through the first round I don’t think he’s bothered about getting blacked out after that. You can see them relax once they make it through the looks bit.”
Don’t bother with chat-up lines
“I’ve never been one for chat-up lines myself. I used to ask my mates to ask people out for me, I was always quite shy when it came to things like that, and I don’t think they work anyway.”
But don’t be too honest either
“If it was one of my mates on the pull I’d say, ‘Lie through your teeth’, because if you’re honest and say, ‘I like playing Xbox and drinking’ I don’t think the girls would like that. They don’t want to hear that, so don’t talk about Call Of Duty.”
Don’t rule out dating shows
“I’ve done dating shows myself. I went on a show called God’s Gift, me and my mates were 19 and we all went on.
“So when the lads come on Take Me Out I go, ‘Trust me, I’ve been there’. Our show is light-hearted, it’s a mixture of The Generation Game and Britain’s Got Talent but, primarily, it’s a dating show and that’s what we’re there for.
“When couples get together it makes you feel like, ‘Ooh, little pat on the back there!’”
If at first you don’t succeed...
“If you’re unlucky in love, you shouldn’t give up. Some of the romances which have come from the show haven’t been between people who were paired up on Take Me Out. People who didn’t go on a date on the show meet on the follow-up show The Gossip, and the beauty of Facebook is they get in touch afterwards and start seeing each other.”
Have a party trick
“We get our lads to show off a party trick to impress the girls. As boring as it sounds, my trick would be making mash.
“I think that would get all girls’ lights going off if I got a bag of potatoes and boiled them up and went, ‘Then you put this much salt in and a bit of butter and a bit of a cream’, but my wife likes it. She loves my Sunday dinners.”
True love is easy
“I were never a lad desperate to get married but it’s exactly like people say: You meet someone, you feel a click and for me, that were that, it just felt natural.”
Marriage doesn’t change anything
“There’s no difference once you get married, really. Apart from a ring on your finger, everything’s kind of as it was.”
Keep it simple
“Me and Christine don’t do big magazine spreads of our holidays together or anything like that. We are in love, and that’s why it works.”
Take Me Out’s success stories
Fabian and Kayleigh – he didn’t pick her on the show, but they have since got together (he contacted her via Facebook) and now they are engaged.
Dave and Adele – she had been unlucky in love (her ex-boyfriend Darren Day left her for Suzanne Shaw) but when she went on the show, romance blossomed. Dave actually picked Lucy on the show (over Adele in the final two) but he subsequently caught up with Adele and they are now together and talking about living together.
Simon and Natalie – he picked her on the show, and they had a terrible date which didn’t go well (they both clashed!) but they have now hooked up again and are an item.
Dan and Dawn – he picked her on the show and they’ve been together for a year.
Take Me Out continues on Saturdays on ITV1, with spin-off show The Gossip following straight after on ITV2