Having confessed my secret acceptance of Ryan Tubridy to you, I feel there's no shame in coming out with yet another questionable interest of mine.
The Irish version of Take Me Out is back on TV3 and while two of my Irish friends find it too cringeworthy to watch, I way prefer it to it's big English brother.
Here it is: Show host Ray Foley wants to find the perfect match for thirty single ladies who stand behind a lit podium. Then, a poor fellow walks on to a tune he had picked himself accompanied by silly dance moves. Following that, a lot of the girls would press a buzzer to turn off their lights, indicating that they have no interest in a country pumpkin with dyed blond hair wearing tracksuit bottoms on national television.
The humiliation doesn't end here though! After that, poor Malachy from Athlone has two more chances to impress the ladies. Then usually, a video clip comes on showing his family, telling the audience what a cute baby he was and some of the lads going on about what a boozer he is. If Malachy didn't get a total blackout already, he can show off an embarrassing talent (like playing backpipes or impressing them with a card trick).
If he's very lucky, some of the girls will have kept their lights on and he has to whittle it down to only two of them. Before he can make his final decision, he has to ask them a token question, like what sort of a sandwich they would like to be and why.
Finally, he picks a girl, they walk off together and one week later it turns out, that unfortunately his Mullingar date Karen can't see him again because of the great distance between them.
My friends would say that the English version is way more professional and upbeat and I guess they're right. However, I prefer to watch real people on television. And if that means to pick unimpressed Irish girls over English chicks on speed and chubby country fellows over steroid-addicted hulks, I can well live with that :-).
So, don't forget to switch on Irish Take Me Out and if you think he's a clown, shut him down (even Foleys catch phrases are better than the English ones)!