'Studs wanted' - First Dates Ireland needs more single men
PRODUCERS of First Dates Ireland are struggling to sign up enough male contestants for the new series of the hit show.
Makers of the popular RTE2 show have been forced to issue a fresh appeal for eligible male singletons to apply for the reality dating programme as they gear up to start work on the third series.
Coco Television, which makes the show, have turned to social media with a fresh casting call for guys under the heading "studs wanted", along with an application form for anyone interested in applying.
Although thousands of hopeful singletons have applied, an inside source said that not enough guys had thrown their hat into the ring.
She added that a similar problem occurred before season two and an appeal had to be issued for more men to apply.
"They just didn't get enough applications from guys," she said.
"For whatever reason, Irish guys seem to be more shy about coming forward and putting themselves out there than Irish girls."
The new show will be filmed once again at the Gibson Hotel at the start of September, with the application process remaining open to males for another two months.
Producers are also putting out a casting call for "background daters", which means they will appear on the programme but will not be featured.
Anyone interested must be aged over 18 and not have any previous criminal convictions.
Although it has been a huge hit with Irish viewers, the programme appears not to have been that successful at producing lasting relationships.
While most participants have trotted out the familiar line of agreeing to see each other again "as friends" if there is clearly no chemistry there, some couples have actively disliked each other during their dates.
Other Irish daters have experienced a wave of negativity on social media for coming across in a particular way, or for making an ill-advised comment during their date.
Among them was Cork-born make-up artist Laura Finn (25), who was taken aback after receiving a torrent of abuse last May after appearing on the programme.
Her friends had warned her to stay off social media while the show aired but she could not resist having a peek at the online comments.
"They were having a go at everything, saying 'she's really superficial' and all this," she said.
"I saw one say, 'she has the personality of a brick', and another said 'her voice box needs to be destroyed with a fork'.
"People don't get my sense of humour straight away. It takes a while and then they go, 'oh she's not being serious'.
"I knew going on it that I would be getting a fair bit of abuse from keyboard warriors but it didn't bother me."
A lucky few who appeared on the show have continued to date each other, including Gary O'Brien from Donegal and Aine Dunne from Louth.