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Take Me Out are putting men behind the podiums for the first time

Show host Paddy McGuinness also revealed there will be a special over-50s episode

paddy mcguinness
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
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Take Me Out will see a big change in next year's series. For the first time in the show's history, male contestants will be invited to stand behind the podiums and try their luck at bagging a date to the Isle of Fernando's. The one-off gender swap episode will feature in the next series, due to air in early 2018. Show host Paddy McGuinness has selected 30 of his favourite male contestants from previous series to take part.

Another special for the milestone tenth series will be dedicated to over-50s finding love. "I always look forward to seeing romance blossom among a new line-up of ladies and gents, including the over 50s," said Paddy. "I'm also going to be catching up with the couples who got together after meeting on the show."

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The show has produced seven weddings and two babies from its ten-year run. In the earlier series, there were concerns regarding background checks being done on the contestants, after it was revealed that one male contestant had a criminal conviction. Back in 2012, Aaron Whiters, originally from Somerset, had not disclosed to producers that he had worked as a male escort. He also pleaded guilty to an assault charge in 2011.

A spokeswoman for talkbackThames, the producers of Take Me Out, said: "During the application process we ask contestants to declare any convictions, and background checks are carried out on each individual, in line with industry practice. Aaron's criminal record did not come to light. We will be reviewing procedures going forward."

Last year's series also featured a heartbreaking story. Contestant Charlie Watkins, who appeared on the show and went to the Isle of Fernando's, sadly took his own life. His family revealed that Charlie had battled mental health issues from a young age, and never recovered from the tragic loss of his mother when he was nine years old.