independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

TV3 reject Simon Atkins lands coveted role presenting Catfish on MTV

Irish TV presenter Simon Atkins is to present the UK version of popular MTV series Catfish: The TV Show.

The US version, presented by Yaniv ‘Nev’ Schulman and Max Joseph, encourages individuals in serious online relationships to meet up with their elusive virtual lovers.

Nev and Max meet members of the public who have developed relationships use their collective detective skills to set up a meeting and the participants finally come face to face with their virtual reality.

Turns out they’ve been catfished; that spinning instructor with a megawatt smile is really a middle age librarian. It’s predictable but utterly compulsive TV.

The Catfish format followed on from the documentary Catfish, which focused on Schulman’s own experience of internet dating and saw his internet girlfriend Megan turn out to be a much older married woman named Angela.

And now MTV are bringing it to the UK for a pilot and Total Xposure finalist Simon will be at the helm.

“The show is massively popular in the States, People getting conned online happens in the UK and Ireland too so it makes sense to have a version over here too,” he said.

“We did a survey and about 25% of people pretend to be someone else on line. I think people find the show interesting because of the variety of people who have been catfished; single mums, reclusive types, high power business people. There’s a real spectrum there.”

“Right now we’re looking for people in Ireland who have a relationship with someone on line but have never actually them in person.”

“We will help track down the other person they are in love with.” The pilot is due to go out in late May, if it’s a success MTV will commission a series.

Simon has been living over in the UK since 2008 and has worked on a variety of different entertainment shows; he’s worked as a reporter on GMTV, This Morning, All Star Mr and Mrs and I’m A Celebrity Jungle Juice.

“I’m the producer on Catfish and I’ll also be in front of the camera. It’s a really exciting project to be involved in,” he said.

If you’re in an online relationship and would like to be involved in the show email catfish@renegadepictures.co.uk

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