First Dates new series
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First Dates 2020: Was the new series filmed before the lockdown?

The Channel 4 dating show is back

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First Dates, the hit Channel 4 dating show, gets underway with a new series this evening (Thursday, October 1).

A brand new line-up of singletons are hoping to find their special someone on a real blind date in the iconic restaurant.

What do we know about the new series? Read on to find out more.

First Dates new series
Selvin and Donna feature in the new series of First Dates (Credit: Channel 4)

When is the new series of First Dates on Channel 4?

The new series of First Dates gets underway on Thursday (October 1) at 10pm on Channel 4.

Once the first episode has aired, the whole series will be available to stream on All 4.

First Dates new series
Rhys and Nikita are looking for love (Credit: Channel 4)

What happens in the new series of First Dates?

Channel 4 has revealed that in the opening episode, the first hopeful is 24-year-old Nikita, a self-confessed party animal from Swansea.

She’s looking for someone just as wild as she goes on a date with Rhys, an engineer from the Welsh valleys who is known for his controversial antics on a night out.

Read more: Is Fred Sirieix married and does he have children?

Nikita gets more than she bargained for when her date reveals his rather intimate tattoo – to the entire restaurant!

Elsewhere on First Dates, part-time fitness instructor and disco dancer Selvin goes on a date with Donna. She wants a man who can make her laugh.

Maître d’ Fred Sirieix and his team of cupids welcome a brand new crop of singletons.

It also features Kelly-Ann, a model and former Playboy bunny who has dated A-listers and now wants a ‘daring man’ to keep her feeling alive. She’s paired up with motorbike daredevil Stephen, but will he tickle her fancy?

Also on First Dates are Aaron, an ex-RAF driver, and his date Jessie. They ‘touched base a little’ only a few years back – but is there a spark there now?

First Dates new series
First Dates will be added to All 4 once the first episode has aired (Credit: Channel 4)

Was First Dates filmed before the lockdown?

Yes, the new series of First Dates was shot before the coronavirus lockdown came into place in March.

As a result, those in the programme will not be seen sticking to the social distancing rules and other measures we’re used to living by today.

Is the First Dates restaurant real?

Yes, First Dates is filmed at the Paternoster Chop House in central London and has been since it started in 2013.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 revealed it was to shoot the programme at a new location in Manchester.

Read more: Fred Sirieix discusses upcoming wedding and ‘perfect’ proposal on GMB

This series was still filmed in central London, but the next will take place at the new location.

First Dates new series
First Dates was filmed in central London but will move to Manchester (Credit: Channel 4)

Can you go on first dates without being filmed?

Channel 4 has previously said that those who want to experience a blind date in the restaurant can apply do so without having to be filmed.

In a tweet ahead of a previous series, bosses said it was the perfect chance to experience the “magic” of the show without the pressure of being on camera.

CiCi Coleman
CiCi Coleman is an actress and has been in a number of films and shorts (Credit: Hewitt / SplashNews.com)

Are the waiters on First Dates actors?

Two of the staff who have appeared in First Dates, CiCi Coleman and Sam Conrad, are actually actors.

On the website IMDB, First Dates is listed among CiCi’s acting credits alongside a number of other productions, including the films Essex Vendetta (2016), Red Butterfly (2014) and others.

Sam’s only acting credits on the website are First Dates and its spin-off series, First Dates Hotel, but his role is listed as ‘actor’.

Fred Sirieix, First Dates new series
Fred Sirieix is the Maître d’ on First Dates (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Has Fred left first dates?

No, viewer favourite Fred Sirieix is very much a part of the new series.

In a description of the programme, Channel 4 says: “Maître d’ Fred Sirieix and his team of cupids welcome a brand new crop of singletons, as they make sure that love is at the top of the menu.”

Will you be watching the new series? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.