FIRST Dates fans have been left furious after the show moved to Manchester – but has still got daters to travel up from London.
The highly anticipated 16th series of the popular Channel 4 dating show hit our screens last night and many viewers couldn't quite get their heads around the new set up.
Fred Sirieix and his gang were supposed to start filming for the new series back in March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic but things on hold.
Six months later they returned to filming at the location of The Refinery in Spinningfields, Manchester and followed all protocol to make sure they stopped the spread of the deadly bug – including regular testing of cast and crew.
While many were ecstatic that the show had moved up to the vibrant northern city, many were left fuming at the fact they are still using people from down south at guests.
One fan tweeted: "Why move to Manchester then ship them all up from London #FirstDates."
Another said: "First Dates London. Almost every person on the show from the South. First Dates Manchester. 3 out of 6 people on so far from London and one other from the South Coast #firstdates."
A third chimed in: "Why film it in manchester when you just get people from london on it. The producer wants sacking. #FirstDates."
A fourth added: "Why did they make such a big deal about #FirstDates being in Manchester only for half the people on it to be from London?"
A fifth wrote: "Why are they doing #FirstDates in Manchester with people from London?"
Meanwhile others were concerned about how it worked considering the current coronavirus pandemic.
One questioned: "How/when did they film the new episodes of #FirstDates in Manchester? Was it pre Covid?"
A second pointed out: "One of the guys on #FirstDates has recovered from Covid so this was clearly filmed during the pandemic but there is no sign of social distancing or mask wearing!"
A third said: "When was #firstdates filmed? Seems like normal life but this guy had covid?"
They continued in a separate tweet: "Just seems mad having people travel from all over the country to Manchester when we’ve been in restrictions since July 30th. I assume before that based on the sunshine hopefully."
First Dates premiered on Channel 4 back in 2013 and has since then become a huge hit with reality TV lovers.
Guests appear on the show looking for love and go on a date with someone they've never met before.
Although viewers love to be a fly on the wall looking in on some awkward encounters during their romantic meals, maître d'hôtel Fred, barman Merlin Griffiths and waiting staff CiCi Coleman and Grant Urquhart have made the show extra special.
The 16th series has welcomed three new staff members to the team – 25-year-old Daniella, David, 28, and Fiona, 30.
From 2013 to 2020 the show was filmed at Paternoster Chop, a restaurant in central London overlooking St Pauls Cathedral.
The show's huge popularity has meant that they have had a number of spin-off's including First Dates Hotel, Celebrity First Dates and Celebrity First Dates Hotel.
Last night's episode certainly didn't disappoint as viewers were left lost for words after two daters had already met and had sex before the episode was filmed.
Watch the next episode of First Dates next Tuesday at 10pm on Channel 4.
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