Australia’s Married at First Sight may have kept reality junkies entertained throughout the summer, but now the UK version is returning to Channel 4 tonight with a brand new fifth series of the blind-marriage show.
The four-part Married At First Sight UK will see a new host of singles – selected from over 7000 applicants – march up the aisle with a stranger they’ve been matched with by experts, before living together and putting their marriage to the test.
In tonight’s episode, we’ll be meeting four love-seekers, including school teacher Michelle and IT sales manager Owen, who are paired together by the Married at First Sight UK matchmakers.
This year’s experts include Celeb’s Go Dating’s Paul C Brunson, matchmaker Gen Gresset and Dr Angela Smith.
Here’s everything you need to know about one couple from the Married At First Sight UK line-up appearing on MaFS UK tonight.
Who is Michelle?
Hastings-based Michelle is a 25-year-old primary school teacher, who the matchmakers paired up with Owen.
The teacher explained that she wanted to take part on the show to finally be “matched” with someone by professionals.
“I’m at a stage where everything in my life is in a really good place so I just want someone to share it all with. I really buy into this process and I think, sometimes, in relationships you tend to make the same mistakes again and again. Whereas the matchmakers getting to know me and then matching me based on what they think will be good for me, I really buy into that as an idea,” she said.
She said that she was “really excited” when she’d been told that matchmakers had paired her up, adding: “But it was nerve-wracking at the same time because you never think it’s going to happen to you. It’s so surreal. It took a while to sink in, but it’s sort of felt like things were falling into place, it feels right.”
When it comes to what she’s looking for in a partner, Michelle said that she wants “someone who wants to do the same things [she does]”, and someone who’s “ambitious and wants to explore and have adventures together”, however she finds arrogance, rudeness and people who “love themselves a bit too much” a big turnoff.
Speaking to the The Mirror, Michelle revealed that she’s had two serious relationships in her life and wanted to take part in the experiment as she was “missing” a relationship and “didn’t get on” with dating apps, as you “become quite a boring version of yourself”.
While excited, in a teaser clip from the show, we watch as Michelle puts on her wedding dress and gets emotional before meeting her soon-to-be husband she’s never met. “I am definitely nervous about what he’s going to think of me,” she said. “Having to be vulnerable and put yourself out there and just hope that this person is going to like you for all you are – that is the scariest bit.”
Who is Owen?
Owen is a 31-year-old IT sales manager from Sheffield, who also volunteers at a local children’s hospice.
He joined the show for the “opportunity to get properly matched by experts”, adding: “Marriage is a huge commitment which makes you put effort into a relationship to make it work in the first few weeks, the idea of that really appealed to me.”
When he was told that the matchmakers had found him a match, it took Owen “a good three days to let it sink in”, he said. “A few days after they told me I was out for some drinks and it suddenly hit me, I’m getting married to a stranger! I had a slight panic but then I knew what was coming next in the process and I was excited about that and started counting down the days.”
Owen added that he’s looking for “someone positive, confident, funny, happy and just up for all of this”.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said he’s been single for two years and felt he’d lost momentum when it came to his romantic life. “I always felt a little bit awkward pursuing women and thought handing all of that to a professional would be much easier,” he said.
In a teaser clip from the show’s first episode, we see a nervous Owen waiting to get married. “Michelle is a stranger. I don’t know anything about her other than the fact that she got all this way and is still willing to marry me not know who I am,” he says. “It takes some balls to do that.”
Speaking on Lorraine, the IT manager said that he felt “every emotion that you can feel – excited, scared, hyped” whilst waiting for Michelle at the altar. “I just met all of her family and friends. So yes just every emotion. Mostly excited but obviously very nervous. I don’t think I could stand still to after the ceremony,” he added.
Do Michelle and Owen stay together?
As viewers will see on the show, the couple’s marriage is quickly put to the test when COVID-19 hits the UK just days after the wedding. The pair move in together at Owen’s mother’s home, as she’s away, and they’re given the length of lockdown to decide whether they want to stay married.
“It did kind of feel like I was going into the unknown,” Michelle told The Mirror. “But with that kind of comes a lot of excitement as well. It’s why we both signed up for this experience in the first place!”
While Owen said that he did “a little fist bump” to himself when he saw Michelle at the altar. “Michelle looking gorgeous and I was like, ‘Come on, she’s hot!’ That physical attraction was definitely there straight away and then I just felt relief that she hadn’t done a runner and had actually turned up!”
With the couple sworn to secrecy over whether they’re still married or not, you’ll have to tune into Married at First Sight series five debut tonight to find out!