MARRIED At First Sight UK is back for a sixth series – and it is set to be the most dramatic yet.
The show, which sees strangers meet at the altar, get hitched, go on honeymoon and move in together before deciding whether to divorce, has had a complete overhaul.
Insiders say Channel 4 bosses have taken notes from the Aussie version, which was a surprise lockdown hit with nearly two million viewers, and encouraged the newlyweds to interact with the other couples.
This leads to “explosive dinner parties and drunken commitment ceremonies with lots of tears and swapping spouses”, says this year’s contestant Amy Christophers.
Producers are hoping it will make the show as action-packed as the Aussie version, which saw one groom cheat on his wife with another bride.
Sports presenter Amy, 34, added: “MAFS makes Love Island look like Downton Abbey.”
The first episode aired on Monday, exactly one week after ITV2’s Love Island final, and has already delivered plenty of drama.
During the 90 minutes, 16 singletons met at their raucous hen and stag dos and two couples tied the knot.
While the grooms discussed their dream partner, the cheeky brides confessed they couldn’t wait to get intimate with their new husbands.
Vet nurse Morag, 31, revealed: “I need to learn to keep my legs shut” while Amy said her deal breaker was a “f****** big ****.”
Speaking exclusively to The Sun from her home in Falmouth, Cornwall, Amy revealed: “Expect explosive dinner parties, drunken commitment ceremonies with lots of tears and swapping spouses.
“Sometimes I thought I was on that other programme Wife Swap.”
Producers signed up Aussie MAFS dating expert Mel Schilling, Celebs Go Dating’s Paul C Brunson and relationship expert Charlene Douglas, from E4’s The Sex Clinic to match up the singletons.
Asked whether there will be scandals and even cheating like the show Down Under, Mel told The Sun: “All I can say is yes to all of the above.
‘WANT COUPLES TO HAVE A PHYSICAL ATTRACTION’
“I came to the UK expecting the contributors to be a bit more reserved, which is just a stereotype, as I was very wrong and pleasantly surprised.”
The cast certainly do not appear to be on the shy side. While the contestants on previous series had ordinary professions, this year’s crop features an ex reality star, cosmetic surgery enthusiasts and former glamour models.
They include Joshua Christie, who played rugby sevens for Jamaica and was also in the 2019 series of Shipwrecked; Alexis Economou, 28, a model; Amy, who had a successful career as a glamour girl under the name Brandy Brewer; and three personal trainers.
And with a cast this hot, producers are hoping they will be ripping each other’s clothes off in no time.
Relationship expert Paul reveals: “We all look for shared values, complimentary personality and presumed attraction.
“We want our couples to have a physical attraction [and] intimacy. We want the couples to have sex — it’s very important.”
On our wedding night my husband got out of the shower and walked around naked. Let’s just say I copped an eyeful
Amy, who is set to marry her man on tomorrow’s episode, was “over the moon” that the show has given her a chance to meet someone new after being dumped by her previous fiance.
While she can’t tell us who she wed or where they went on their honeymoon, she does say the producers got one big thing right.
She revealed: “When we were on our wedding night my husband got out of the shower and walked around naked. Let’s just say I copped an eye full of his package and they had delivered.”
Amy, who works as a host for JD Sports and Racing TV’s Raceday, confirms viewers will see slanging matches between the couples.
She says: “I don’t start arguments but I do finish them. I’m not a confrontational person but somehow I found myself at the centre of every argument at the weekly dinner parties.”
While viewers will be hooked on the twists and turns, not everyone will be tuning in. Amy’s father didn’t approve of her decision to take part in the social experiment.
‘HAS TO BE SEXY WITH A BIG PACKAGE’
She says: “My dad hated it. He said he didn’t want anything to do with the circus. It was gutting as he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle but I respected his decision. But my mum was supportive, even though she hates cameras.”
Both of Amy’s parents chose not to watch the first episode. She explains: “They’re very private people. In some ways I’m glad, as talking about my sex life on TV is cringey.”
As is the case on the Aussie version, the marriages won’t be legally binding but the couples will still meet at the altar and have a lavish ceremony joined by guests, before heading off on a honeymoon.
Afterwards the 16 stars will become neighbours, as they move into the same apartment block in Brighton for a month.
Each week, their marriages will be put under the microscope by the experts during commitment ceremonies, where they choose whether to stay together or split. And there will be tension when fellow brides and grooms meet at boozy dinner parties.
In season five of MAFS Australia, executive creative director Dean Wells, 41, cheated on his “wife” Tracey Jewel, 36, with another contestant.
My dad hated it. He didn’t want anything to do with it. It was gutting as he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle
When his kiss with personal trainer Davina Rankin, 28, was exposed, drama ensued and there was a huge argument at the dinner table. Dean and marketing consultant Tracey split due to trust issues, and he later described himself as the show’s “super villain”.
On seeing the trailer for the revamped UK version, Dean joked on Instagram: “Where’s my royalties?”
If couples make it to the end of the series, they can then decide whether to stay together or go their separate ways.
On Monday viewers watched wellness coach Megan Wolfe, 26, tie the knot with business protection specialist Robert Voysey, also known to his friends as “Big Bob”.
Megan’s mum had previously stormed off when she learned her daughter was set to marry a stranger.
Then fiery Nikita Jasmine, 26, shocked viewers with her “shallow demands” when she met her husband-to-be Ant Poole.
After revealing she wrote her wedding vows on the toilet, the County Durham-born singleton failed to hide her disappointment at her match’s appearance.
She later told the cameras: “[The experts] have just done the total f****** opposite of what I’ve asked for. I mean obviously I was talking about looks quite a lot.
“Looks was a huge thing to me and I don’t think they’ve listened to what I said.”
And she’s not the only contestant giving the expert panel a headache with a long list of demands.
Amy reveals she also handed them her own “love list” with more than 100 requirements for any potential partner.
She explains: “He has to be 6ft 4in with a gym-honed body but not be a meathead. Have good teeth, strong jawline, good style and smell of Creed.
I’m not a confrontational person but somehow I found myself at the centre of every argument at dinner parties
“He has to be sexy with a big package and be able to rock the preppy look but also look good in sweats around the house.
“He can’t own brown shoes, boot cut jeans or anything designed by Super Dry. He has to be an alpha male — I’m a strong personality and need someone who can put me in my place.
“He must be clean but not OCD, show emotion but not be a sap, be obsessed with me, love history, a hot geek, love travelling, loyal, adventurous, career-driven, funny, sporty, spontaneous, spiritual, spoil me and tell me I’m amazing and sexy every day.”
Is it too much to ask? Amy thinks not.
She says: “I know my worth, I’ve worked hard and know what I bring to the table, so the person I want to sit with me at it has to be pretty special.”
- Find out if Amy gets her happily ever after tonight on Married At First Sight at 9pm on E4.