Monday, 30 November -0001

Married At First Sight

Forget the net, Channel 4 is the new matchmaker

Written by Ben Felsenburg
Ben-Felsenburg-colour-176‘Awesome!’ ‘This is the most mental thing I’ve ever done!’ ‘S***, I’m getting married!’ Such is the eloquence with the participants in Married At First Sight (Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm) greet the momentous news that they’re the lucky few (out of 1,500 applicants) who have been chosen to be wedded, after a painstaking selection by the show’s matchmakers. The couples meet each other for the first time just minutes before they head up the aisle, until death do they part, or at least until husband and wife decide on camera five weeks later whether they want to stay together.

It sounds like a crazy TV gimmick, and you might wonder about the presence of a vicar lending his authority to this sensational experiment (in an advisory capacity, not at the altar). But there’s good science behind the thinking: crucially, we’re told that the mania for internet dating means that couples nowadays are missing out on a good hit of something called oxytocin. It’s the crucial hormone in the brain that accounts for love at first sight, and without someone’s physical presence it won’t be released when you read their wittily composed personal profile on a website.

Still, you have to wonder about the children a few years in the future who’ll ask where they came from and hear the reply: ‘Well darling, Mummy and Daddy wanted to be on a TV show, so they married us off, sent us on honeymoon and one night…’

NOT TO BE MISSED

TV-Jul03-02-590

Fake Or Fortune? Sun, BBC1, 8pm
Works that just might be by LS Lowry are put to the test in this new series presented by Fiona Bruce.

Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life Of A Tudor Woman Mon, BBC4, 8pm
Discover the farmer’s daughter who gave birth to the Bard in Michael Wood’s fascinating history.

From Russia With Cash Wed, C4, 10pm
Are dirty roubles buying up the best London properties? A reporter goes undercover to find out.


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