Married at First Sight to return to the UK in sexed up version to rival Love Island, Channel 4 reveals

THE format of Married At First Sight Australia will be used to turn its UK cousin into a racy series to rival Love Island.

I can reveal Channel 4 bosses will embrace the blueprint from Down Under, which has seen a million viewers tune in weekly for steamy clinches and stormy dramas on E4.

The aim is to sex-up the show, which first aired in Britain in 2015, so it corners the youth market that currently tunes into Love Island on ITV2.

A TV insider said: “Married At First Sight UK started out as much more of a straight TV experiment looking at relationships.

Producers were already looking to shake up the format, but the huge success of the Aussie version has convinced them they have the chance to reinvent the show and create one of this country’s most talked- about TV hits.

“They’re  looking for particularly attractive and interesting characters to ensure the British reincarnation is as explosive as the one Down Under.”

In the UK show, which will move from Channel 4 to E4, only two, three or four couples are featured and meet on their wedding day.

They live alone in their  pairs and are later asked, once only, if they want to stay together.

The Aussie version  starts  with ten couples, who share an apartment in the same Sydney living quarters — much like the Love Island villa.

They reconvene at weekly commitment ceremonies — and have  explosive dinner parties. But relationships tend to last just as long as those on  Love Island.

Alison’s play day with Pat

Alison Hammond swoons over actor Patrick Dempsey in an interview on This Morning today.

She starts the video call by recalling how the last time they met they had a “gooseberry” with them.

She says: “It was Colin Firth…it’s so nice that it’s just the two of us today.” And Patrick replies: “Much better isn’t it?”

Ahead of the release of his Sky Atlantic thriller Devils, out tomorrow, Alison gets some show goss from the Grey’s Anatomy star and plays a special game of Operation.

The full interview is from 10am on ITV.

Harry’s got the gossip

He loved a good old chinwag on I’m A Celebrity . . .  Get Me Out Of Here.

And now ex-football boss Harry Redknapp is getting all the gossip from guests on his podcast on Global Player.

During this week’s helping, which is available from today, he is talking to sports promoter Eddie Hearn, who recalls how chubby former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard was at school.

Harry also hears about ex-England striker and Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker and football manager Howard Wilkinson polishing off six bottles of champagne on a train journey.

I reckon Harry will get his own TV chat show next.

The Bay to return

ITV has ordered a third series of its Lancashire-based crime drama The Bay – before the second one has even finished.

The show’s executive producer Catherine Oldfield said: “We can’t wait to get back to Morecambe to start filming again in that beautiful part of the world.”

It’s A Sin so tough on Lydia

The actors who played heart-wrenching scenes in It’s A Sin struggled to hold back their emotions – just like most of the viewers.

Lydia West, who played Jill Baxter, revealed the episode in which Colin was in hospital made her break down.

She said: “The hardest to film was the scene at Colin’s bedside, where Colin is in his last day. A wave of emotion came over me.

“I said, ‘I really need to call my mum. I’m not OK’. I just broke down and everything came out.

“I called my mum but she didn’t pick up so I had a cup of tea, some chocolate, and then I just cried.”

The show, which told the story of the Aids crisis in the Eighties, has been wrongly criticised by some over its explicit sex scenes.

But Lydia, pictured with cast member Olly Alexander, told the Make It Reign podcast: “It shows just how much work there is still to do on banishing homophobia, transphobia and bi-phobia that’s out there.”

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