Take Me Out accused of manipulating contestants

'Take Me Out' has been accused of manipulating its contestants, with three former show stars coming forward to say they were advised which men to date

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Paddy McGuinness with his wife Christine Martin

Paddy McGuinness with his wife Christine Martin

'Take Me Out' has been accused of manipulating its contestants.

The ITV dating show claims to help single women find their perfect date, but former hopefuls have come forward to say producers told them how to act.

One told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The producers pulled some of the girls in and said, 'If you're waiting for George Clooney or Brad Pitt, they're not coming'."

On the show one man tries to impress 30 women, who stand by podiums with lights on them, which they turn off if they are not interested. The ex-contestant claimed they were removed from the programme after not doing as the producers suggested.

The source added: "They told us to keep our light's on for the next contestant, who was more than 10 years younger than me. I refused and was taken off."

Another former contestant accused bosses behind the Paddy McGuinness hosted programme of leaving people feeling "humiliated." They said: "When the more eccentric male contestants were unveiled, the girls were asked to keep their lights on and drag the scene out, even though nobody was interested.

"The whole thing is totally misleading, and leaves a lot of people feeling humiliated and exploited afterwards."

A third ex-cast member claimed they found the right man, but were advised not to date him.

She said: "I really fancied a bloke on my first week on the show but the producers made it quite clear I wasn't to pick him and he left without a date.

"I told him afterwards how much I had liked him and we've seen each other a number of times since.

"I ended up going away on a date with someone I wasn't that interested in. It was a waste of my time and his."

Show bosses deny all the claims the show is fixed or manipulated in any way.

A spokesperson for makers Talkback Thames said: "We strongly refute any claims that we tell the contestants how to act or how to respond."

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