Okay, people. There's a small possibility that I could be on TV tonight. The Year of Making Love is a mass-scale matchmaking programme on BBC3, filmed nearly a year ago that I've been keeping quiet about (aside from about 20 Facebook statuses.)
I'm struggling to remember where I saw the advert for this, calling for contributors- somewhere on the internet; probably Twitter. But anyway. I applied a year ago.
I got the phone call from Fever Media, who were making the show for the BBC, and gave a telephone interview about my sparse and bunny-boiler-laiden dating history. They loved me. They asked me to audition, so I went down to MediaCity at Salford Quays for more questioning. I think the fact that I've dated so many nutters was one of the things that drew them in, along with the memory difficulties I have that I feel makes me a little different, shall we say. They chose me as a “subject”- one of the people the program would focus on throughout the year.
I filled out a questionnaire about the kind of person I am in relationships, this being the “science” by which we were being paired up. This took some guesswork on my part.
Fever met me again to film a few segments- spending time with friends at my house (we couldn't get clearance for any bars), me updating this blog, which potentially could get me THOUSANDS of hits (the most exciting part of the whole process), me walking into work (we couldn't get clearance from my employer to film inside) and me for some reason making a sandwich. It will be gloriously horrific television.
A week later, they put me on a coach full of northern participants to Bedford, to a giant function-hall that could house the 500 men and 500 women. It was an awesome day. I got VIP treatment as the cameras followed me off the coach into the building, jumping the signing-in queue. I gave an interview before the event started, telling of how I hoped everything was going to work out, and then the mass-scale matching began, with numbers being read out for hours, and participants meeting on stage to walk down the isle to the back of the stadium- a scientifically matched “couple.” I was fortunate enough to be called up after an hour or so of matches.
So, the big question is, how was the match?
Well, she seemed like a nice girl and everything, but I just didn't fancy her. This was massively annoying as, looking around the stadium, I could see plenty of girls I'd have loved to be put with. We walked to the back of the stadium where we were greeted with champagne, and my cameraman / wingman filmed us having a very awkward getting-to-know-you conversation, and I desparately- DESPARATELY- tried to come across as a normal, likeable guy. But when I know, I know. I'm black-and-white about women. We didn't meet up after that.
Over the next few days Fever were asking me if I fancied “just giving it a shot”, but I'm not that fame hungry to lead someone on in that way.
I've not been allowed to talk about it, but I suppose it's late enough now.
I must make one thing clear, though: despite me doing all of this, I might not even be on the show at all. There was another advert on Facebook for contributors some months later, as if they were trying to brush over the whole first attempt at the show and start afresh. Which was weird. The organisation and the man power and the time and- of course- the EXPENSE of putting a show like this together must have been gargantuan. What production company would want to go through all of that again for a series?
My guess is that there were so few people that stayed with their matches that they needed to film it again in an attempt to find couples who might stay together. From the Facebook group I gathered that most “couples” weren't good matches and that the “science” hadn't just failed me- it had failed most of us.
So, here's the trailer. I was definitely there on the day of the matching. I specifically remember the lesbian in the tux. I have no idea whether there was a second event, but the video footage is exactly as I remember it. It was a very memorable, enjoyable day and I've no regrets.
So who knows. Maybe I'm on it. Maybe I'm not. Either way, it's BBC 3, 9pm, Tonight. It's a series as well, so I might not be on the first episode.
Check out the BBC's content. It's running every night this week.