First Dates is one of the most beloved reality TV shows in the UK.
Featuring Fred Sirieix and his band of merry waiters and waitresses, the Channel 4 dating show follows singletons as they embark on a first date dinner for all of the British public to witness.
Each episode focuses on a handful of first-time daters, who vary in everything from age to appearance to work-life, culture and, quite often, opinion on who should pay for the bill.
First Dates is as heartwarming as it is entertaining and a new series has an official start date for 2020 – oh, and it’s moving to a new venue in Manchester!
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First Dates 2020: Start date and episode guide
Series 14 officially launched on Thursday, February 20th, on Channel 4 at 10 pm.
First Dates 2020 will continue every Thursday night in the same timeslot for approximately 10 episodes.
Alternatively, Channel 4 have uploaded an exclusive boxset to their ALL4 player, with the first five episodes ready to watch before going to air.
First Dates in Manchester
Channel 4 has shifted a lot of its media centres away from the country’s capital, looking to diversify its workforce to other regional cities.
The push has keenly developed in northern areas such as Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. Danny Horan, Head of Factual at Channel 4, explained:
This move is so great for Channel 4 Bristol and Manchester. We are thrilled to be investing in new diverse talent with Twenty Twenty. This is just one part of Factual’s commitment to expand out of London at scale.
As part of the shift, First Dates has also changed location, although this hasn’t come into place for the 2020 series. The series should make the switch either later in the year with series 15 or in 2021.
For now, the exact restaurant used for filming has not been revealed, although Reality Titbit will undoubtedly be the first ones to break the news.
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Will the same staff be involved? Fred? Merlin?
Fans have feared that the Manchester shift will mean a complete change in staff, although we can confirm that this isn’t the case.
Fred Sirieix will still oversee the restaurant as the world’s most charming maître d’ while most of the other key staff members are expected to return.
Fred Tweeted that he “can’t wait” for Manchester, and so it assumed that he will be returning to the restaurant, while Merlin also tweeted “awesome” in response to the news. He then tweeted in response to a fan: “Much as I love London, I’m happier out of it for now.”
— Fred Sirieix (@fredsirieix1) January 29, 2020
Likewise, Austin Ventour tweeted that he was looking forward to it, although something of at least a small waiter and waitress overhaul is expected and questions remain over CiCi Coleman and Laura Trott.
WATCH FIRST DATES 2020 EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT FROM FEBRUARY 13TH ON CHANNEL 4