A light-hearted take-off of the popular ITV show, ‘Take Me Out’ in which female contestants size up prospective male dates, is set to arrive on campus this Valentine’s Day.
The price for a ticket will be £5 and the event will be held on Saturday, 14 February in the Guild of Students.
The event will follow the show’s ‘no likey, no lighty’ format. However, instead of lighted podiums, there will be balloons that female contestants will pop when they decide the male applicant is not for them. The evening will be hosted by Alex Liptrot from the Footnotes comedy society on campus. There will also be special appearances from the ‘Down and Bluer’ comedy duo. The prize for matching couples will be to go ‘for a Nandos’. There will also be a free prize draw where audience members can win champagne and the like.
Over 800 people have registered an interest in attending the game show evening on the Facebook event page. The event is the brainchild of Jack Kelly, a first year student with an interest in social enterprise. Jack began planning the event at the beginning of the year, deciding he wanted to plan a ‘fun, social event’ for Valentine’s Day. He hopes that people who are single and are ‘ready to mingle’ will meet on the mock-up version of the show.
Prospective participants were required to add themselves to a specially made Facebook account and fill in a questionnaire about themselves. 15-20 females and 4-5 males will make it on the shortlist to appear on the mock-up of the game show. A diverse range of people will be selected to fill the places, reflecting the different sorts of people and cultures that attend UoB. Around 120 people have applied to be on the show, of whom about 40% were male. Applicants have ranged from freshers to fourth years and mature students.
The Accounting and Finance student, who has previously run events at his sixth form, believes this will bring people together who usually find it difficult to find a date.
‘I am running the event for the purpose of bringing a new experience to the University of Birmingham,’ Jack said.
‘I’m excited about this event, it’s fun, relaxed and a great way to enjoy Valentine’s Day evening.’
‘I’m no cupid, but I’ll give him a helping hand here in Birmingham.’
There has been a mixed reaction to the show from various groups. One student has told Redbrick: ‘It would be good for the comedy factor. It would be a laugh if students didn’t take it too seriously’.
A fourth-year American student has commented: ‘It’s a bit desperate [to take part in the show] on Valentine’s Day.’
‘I’m not sure if people would be willing to come onto campus on a Saturday night,’ she added.
Some student expressed surprise at the decision not to donate proceeds of the event to charity. However, the organiser responded saying the event will be ‘operating at an “as close to cost” basis as possible’ and the ticket charge is ‘to cover costs rather than to attain profit’. The charity Action Against Hunger is understood to be collecting donations at the event.
‘I want to make this event as good an experience as possible for University of Birmingham students, so right now this event is intended as a one-off,’ said Jack.
Similar events are planned this year at the Universities of Lincoln, York, Northampton, Bath and Queen Mary University.