Still, we can't feel too much sympathy for the male contestants.The application process for Take Me Out isn't a cross between jury duty and an all-sexual Hunger Games.
Each week on the show, three grinning imbeciles were asked fluffy and meaningless questions by a contestant who was perched behind a partition, in reply to which said imbeciles recited a series of quips so cheesy they could be garnished and served as starters in a French gastro pub.
The female contestants would always deliver their quips with a saucy giggle and a Timotei-style flick of the head, while the men would deliver theirs in a spirit of such oily slickness that Greenpeace would eventually have to be called in. In 'weather' or not you’re going to choose me, of course. I'll take you to Cloud 9.” At this point the audience would woop and ahhhh so loudly that time would cave in on itself, and Cilla would link hands and dance on stage with a chorus-line of dinosaurs and Mongol warriors.
At this point the chooser usually tried - and failed - to disguise a powerful wave of disgust and regret, spending the next few minutes smiling like a chimp being held at gunpoint.
The couple would return the following week to recount a holiday filled with such existential angst and dread that it was almost a Jean-Paul Satre novel.
Even his name is redolent of an Irish theme bar in Magaluf. ” “Ay oop, Paddy, I tell thee, ah wouldn't mind ‘im rakin' about in ma lady garden!
Paddy's hosting duties include trading in entendres so singularly explicit that they're basically line-readings from 1980s porn films, and teasing banter from the lairy ladies around the subject of their approval or disapproval of the plucky bachelor. ” (Ethel proceeds to snort like a dying walrus) Paddy's most famous catchphrase is ‘No likey? ’, which is almost Shakespearian in its poetic succinctness.The only thing that could be more damaging to his self-esteem at this point would be if the women decided to forgo the buzzer in favour of chanting 'YOU SEXUALLY DISGUST ME! ' at him until he fell to the floor, weeping himself into a tight ball.We can only think ourselves lucky that Rodney Alcala never got the chance to appear on the American version of Take Me Out.That memory, that association, is never complete without Cilla Black – the nation's favourite surrogate aunty, always resplendent in a series of shoulder-padded blazers, smiling down on my childhood like a ghostly Yoda at the end of Return of the Jedi.As my mother's hair-dryer voomed into life in the kitchen, I was to be found in the living room watching Cilla on Blind Date, contorting myself on the couch (emphatically not a euphemism), often upside down, a combination of ever-stretching limbs and rising hormones making it impossible for me to sit properly and at peace for any significant length of time.Striding in Cilla’s place at the helm of this pheromonal Armageddon is Paddy Mc Guinness, a catchphrase-spouting, pathologically winsome creature who was surely created in a special lad-boratory somewhere on the outskirts of Wigan by splicing together the DNA of a Butlins redcoat and the entire canon of Nuts Magazine.