A dating show in which eight women compete for the attention of a handsome stranger includes a very controversial twist – only half of them are single.
The rest of the women taking part in The Love Trap are already in a relationship but stand to win £20,000 if they can seduce 34-year-old personal trainer David Birtwistle.
Some of the Love Traps are even engaged, but they do not hold back trying to convince David they are for real.
In the first episode tomorrow night they flirt outrageously with him. One tells him she wants to join him in bed, saying: “I felt bad for you being on your own.”
And when more rivals join in the second episode they go further to win his affections in the “chemistry test”, each cuddling him in bed.
Even the producers and host Joel Dommett were surprised at how physical the women got with David so early in the show – rubbing his bare chest, licking his neck and nibbling his earlobe.
Joel, who fronts The Masked Singer, said: “We didn’t really think anything like a kiss, or even further was going to happen. My Lord were we very wrong, they really went in.
“They must have had a conversation with their boyfriends at home and gone like, ‘OK, let’s win this 20 grand, you’ve got to not be offended by this. I’m going to kiss him, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that’.
“And fair play, they really did – because a lot of the time we were like, ‘That person can’t have a boyfriend because if I was that boyfriend I would be absolutely livid right now’. There is X-rated action and straight away, as well.”
Those unlucky enough to be rejected by David are dropped through a trapdoor.
Just like in The Masked Singer, Joel is kept in the dark about the contestants, so he does not know which are single and which are faking it.
This is not David’s first attempt to find love on reality TV – he shot to fame in Too Hot to Handle on Netflix last year. His quest was unsuccessful that time despite his model good looks.
Joel laughs: “Just imagine, I had to stand next to him for two months, next to this hunk of a man – I have never come away from an experience feeling more ugly.”
The TV host, married to model Hannah Cooper, 30, said: “Yes, I’ve got love, I’m happily married, which is absolutely lovely – but he’s got the looks.”
Joel’s eyes light up at the mention of Hannah.
He said: “She certainly makes me better, in terms of my career, and not getting caught up in all of the madness of television, and showbusiness.
“If ever I feel I’m getting ideas above my station, she immediately puts me back in my box – ‘You’re not that famous, Joel!’. I feel like we’re a good team.”
*The Love Trap tomorrow on Channel 4 at 10pm.