Since first airing in 2013, First Dates has become one of the UK’s best-loved TV series, winning a string of awards and nominations, and launching local versions around the world.
The premise for the hit show, hosted by world’s most famous maître d’ Fred Sirieix, is simple – romantic hopefuls meet at a restaurant to (hopefully) enjoy a first date.
For previous series, the action all took place at Paternoster Chop House at St Paul’s in London.
But the hit show has has chosen Spinningfields restaurant The Refinery as the home for its 16th series.
The dating show relocated to Manchester in March before lockdown, but production was brought to a halt due to coronavirus restrictions.
When restrictions were lifted, the team came back to Manchester to continue filming in September.
Fred was the general manager at Michelin starred restaurant Galvin at Windows for 14 years up until 2019 and since joining the show, he has released a book called First Dates: The Art of Love.
And he’s a big fan of Manchester, having previously filmed Million Pound Menu in the city.
“I love Manchester,” he told us during its filming.
“I love the people in Manchester. Everybody says hello, everybody smiles, everybody seems to be in a good mood.
“In Manchester everybody talks to you.”
New staff for the latest series include 25-year-old Manchester-based Daniella, who is joining Fred’s restaurant as a waitress.
Teasing the upcoming series, Daniella said to watch out for some amazing outfits now that it’s based in our city.
“I think with it being in Manchester as well, we can’t give away too many spoilers but obviously, I think people in the north have a bit of a weird, funky sense of style so you’ll see some cool things,” she told The Radio Times.
Production company Twenty Twenty said the Manchester move showed its commitment to the UK regions.
And Spinningfields restaurant The Refinery loved being the show’s new home.
“The entire team was a delight to work with,” they said.
“We really enjoyed watching them transform the space to into the First Dates restaurant.
“We look forward to welcoming the team back for future filming.”
First Dates is back on screens from Tuesday 19th January at 10pm on Channel 4.