Saturday 20 January 2018

First Dates Ireland gets a third series and 'thousands of applications'

Mateo Saina
Mateo Saina

Sean O'Grady

Love will be in the air at The Gibson Hotel again this summer as First Dates Ireland is coming back for a third series.

A source close to the show confirmed the reality programme is back in business just a few months after the second series went off air – and the response from singletons has been better than ever.

“The second series went down very well with viewers and producers have already had thousands of applications for series three,” an insider said.

“They had a tough time trying to narrow down the list of daters for the last two series, but this year it’s going to be harder than ever.”

Lisa Fogarty on First Dates Ireland
Lisa Fogarty on First Dates Ireland
Daphney Sanasie who appeared on the opening night of RTE’s First Dates Ireland

Coco Television, which produces the series, opened applications for daters shortly after the second series but only recently received the green light for a new batch of episodes, which will air next year.

Although the dates for filming have yet to be decided, it is thought the latest crop of singletons will be heading to the restaurant in July or August, in keeping with the previous series.

An RTE spokesperson said the station is “delighted” to welcome the show back. “Overall the reaction to the programme has been fantastic since it started on RTE2,” the spokesperson said.

“There has been a huge response to the call out for new daters already for the new series.”

Daphney Sanasie who appeared on the opening night of RTE’s First Dates Ireland
Daphney Sanasie who appeared on the opening night of RTE’s First Dates Ireland

Further details on the third series are being kept top secret, but maitre d’ Mateo Saina, waitress Alice Marr and Canadian barman Ethan Miles are all expected to return.

The show has seen many memorable characters pass through the doors of the Coda Eatery restaurant at the hotel over the last two series.

Daphney Sanasie, known as Frederica on the show, made an impression with viewers during her humorous date with a Donegal man named Lee.

However, she was later charged with harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath.

While the majority have not ended up forming serious relationships, a few lucky ones have managed to find lasting romances.

Gary O’Brien, from Donegal, and Aine Dunne, from Louth, were still going strong several months after meeting on the second series.

“I saw the opportunity for First Dates and thought: ‘I’m just going to do it’. Luckily, I did,” Gary said.

Herald

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