Let the Daily Star meet the girls! Take Me Out is back on our screens tomorrow night – and we got an exclusive look behind the scenes.
The popular dating show – presented by comedian Paddy McGuinness and famed for the catchphrase: "No likey, no lighty" – sees 30 new sexy singletons trying to find love.
But will the hanky see the panky? And what’s it really like as the girls battle it out to nab themselves a hunk?
I found out when I arrived at the studios in Maidstone, Kent, and was quickly whisked off into hair and make-up where a glam squad of professionals make sure the girls are all looking their best before they take to the stage.
Chief make-up artist Sarah Burrows asks what I’d like, and we decide on a "smokey eye". As someone who never gets her make-up done professionally this was a real treat!
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Next comes hair expert Mitch Lumsden, who trims my ends, before giving me a loose curl. With 30 girls to get ready every day before filming it’s organised chaos backstage, but everyone is buzzing.
There’s a supportive atmosphere and I get lots of compliments about my fabulous new look.
Sarah tells me: "It’s all about women supporting women. There’s no b*tchiness. We want to make the girls look and feel their best before they go out there. It’s a great feeling being part of the glam squad and helping boost their confidence."
With my hair and make-up done, I go and see superstar stylist Faye Sawyer. There are rails and rails of clothes for each of the girls and it’s Faye’s job to make sure they are all dressed to impress.
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I’ve brought a couple of my favourite outfits with me, and after giving them the once over she chooses a silky leopard-print dress for me to wear.
"They bring in all their favourite items from their own wardrobes” Faye explains. “And we go through it all and help them put their outfits together. We might make a little tweak here and there, like adding sleeves, but it’s all about making their outfits look the best they can."
I join the rest of the girls and get ready to walk down the show’s famous stairs, terrified of tripping and falling flat on my face.
But one of the girls grabs my hand, and tells me I have nothing to worry about. There’s a party atmosphere as we walk up the stairs and back down the other side and out into the show’s famous studio.
We’re joined by Paddy, 46, who says a quick hello before the floor manager takes over and we go through a full dress rehearsal.
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One of the show’s runners poses as a hunk ready to whisk off some lucky lady to the Isle of Fernando. We all leave our lights on and have a real giggle. The "Flirty 30" have clearly bonded and are definitely all there for each other, even when it comes to trying to bag themselves a date.
Bubbly Libby, 22, from Ascot is a professional horse rider and has appeared as a stunt rider in major Disney films including Maleficent and Dumbo.
She says: "I’ve only had one relationship, it lasted about five months. He came with me to one of my horse competitions and said how boring it was, so it didn’t work out. I find it really hard to meet boys because I’m away a lot. So thought I’d give Take Me Out a go."
Glasgow girl Jennifer, 27, who works in the legal department of Scottish Water, wanted to show her cheating ex that she’s well over him.
She says: "I didn’t have a clue he was cheating. I was heartbroken but bounced back pretty quickly. He spent months trying to get back with me which just made me stronger, and here I am now taking part in the biggest dating show on TV."
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Londoner Iman, 23, who is studying for a Masters in international Economic Policy and Analysis, wanted to take part to break down stereotypes. The student also works as a BAME officer in Westminster after standing for Labour in her local elections last year.
She says: "It’s a show that we all watch as a family and everyone is so different. I think it’s really important to have diversity in terms of what people do for careers, where they’re from and how they look.
"It’s really special on a show like Take Me Out to break down stereotypes. I’m in politics and it’s such a male-dominated career path, but I also like to get getting dressed up and wearing make-up.
"Hopefully teenagers and young women will see me and realise that you can be intelligent and glamorous."
● The 11th series of Take Me Out returns tonight on ITV at 7.15pm.
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