Meet the Parents … the dating show with a difference
In their quest to find love, nothing is off limits, as the picker looking for romance gets to ask their potential suitors’ parents anything. Mum and dad then get busy spilling the beans, on everything from their off-spring’s relationship history and grooming habits, to questionable celebrity crushes and cringe-worthy childhood stories.
Says Willoughby: “It’s different because the singleton who is looking for a potential date gets to ask a series of questions in order to pick who she’s going on a date with.
“But the questions are asked not to a potential date but to the potential date’s parents. Obviously with this all sorts of things can happen, it can be brilliant or it can be embarrassing or it can go horribly wrong.”
Willoughby continues: “When we filmed the pilot there was a girl who was picking a potential date and they always get asked the final question: Why should I date your son or daughter?’
“Anyway, this mum said: ‘My son, he’s just a really lovely genuine boy and anyone who had them in their life would be really lucky.’ And the son sat with his head in his hands going ‘Mum, what are you doing? Nobody wants a good boy, you’ve ruined my chances!’
“But sure enough she picked him, and when I asked what swung it she said ‘it was his mum, she said you were a really nice person.’ So you never know, sometimes people think the parents are going to embarrass them and sometimes it goes completely the other way.”
Once the picker picks his/her date, the couple go on the date straight away. The moment they get picked, they go out of the studio into a car and they’re taken to the Meet The Parents restaurant where they have dinner and it’s all filmed and the viewer gets to see everything unfold immediately.
Concludes Willoughby: “The thing with parents is they don’t mean to be embarrassing because ultimately they really love you and they want you to find a date. None of them are going in there to stitch their kids up, just sometimes the parents think the things they say would help.”
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