A huge number of viewers were delighted to see the return of Fred Sirieix and the First Dates restaurant, in its shiny new location in Manchester on Tuesday. However, a few fans were a little disappointed.
Taking to Twitter to share their thoughts, some were frustrated after realising that, despite moving the Channel 4 show up to Manchester, a number of the daters were from the south, in particular London.
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One person said on social media: "Why did they make such a big deal about #FirstDates being in Manchester only for half the people on it to be from London?", while a second fan wrote: "So... #FirstDates has moved up to Manchester from London and the first two dates are from… London!!"
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Another agreed, commenting: "First Dates London. Almost every person on the show from the South. First Dates Manchester. Three out of six people on so far from London and one other from the South Coast #firstdates."
The new episodes saw the return of the dating programme's beloved faces including Maître d' Fred, barman Merlin and waitress Cici. But one star of the show was noticeably absent, fellow waitress Laura.
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Speaking about her absence from the new series, the TV regular explained her reasons on Instagram. "As you can see, I do not appear in this new series of First Dates," she began.
"They have moved up north to a new restaurant and wanted to freshen up the team for this series with some new local faces among the old faces, so I will not be featuring in this new series of First Dates unfortunately."
Laura also noted that her day job working as a paramedic would make filming difficult. She added: "To be honest, I don't actually know how I would have fit filming in this year with working during the pandemic, I've needed every day off to chill out so it's actually been a welcome break."
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