Married at First Sight experts address diversity of 2021 series as UK show welcomes first gay couple

Mel says the 2021 line-up was chosen to "represent the community at large".

Married at First Sight UK expert Mel Schilling

A new set of singletons will say “I do” the first time they meet their partner when the series of Married at First Sight UK kicks off on E4 this summer.

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The dating show where couples marry the moment they meet one another will start on 30th August, and this year will see the UK series’ first ever gay couple take part.

Ahead of the launch, we spoke to the Married at First Sight experts, including matchmaker Paul C Brunson, who returns for a second series, Mel Schilling, who many will recognise from the Australian version of the show, and sex therapist Charlene Douglas, who is completely new to the franchise.

Although they couldn’t give much away about the couples themselves, the trio commented on the “diversity” in this year’s line-up.

“Absolutely, there is diversity in the mix,” Mel explained. “The UK is such a diverse continent, so what we’ve done really well, I think, is try to select a group of people that do represent the community at large. So yes, there’s diversity in there.”

She continued: “There is our first gay couple, which is incredible. I mean, that’s such a milestone and I think that’s really going to set the course for the next few years of this experiment.”

This year’s line-up includes 16 singletons, which is twice the amount from the last series, filmed in 2020 during the lockdown.

Married at First Sight is yet to confirm who the couples are, but the contestants have been revealed, from a 36-year-old care home manager and firefighter, to a 47-year-old strength and conditioning coach and a 25-year-old wellness coach.

The new UK series has been modelled on the dramatic Australian version, with commitment ceremonies, dinner parties, and a stag and hen do, which will take place before the couples meet. And for the first time ever, Charlene Douglas will be getting up, close and personal with the couples to talk about their intimate relationship.

Married at First Sight sex therapist Charlene Douglas
Married at First Sight sex therapist Charlene Douglas
Channel 4

“I think it’s just nice to bring the element of sex and intimacy when it comes to relationships,” Charlene said. “I think often that’s the part that’s kind of missed out a little bit. So it’s nice to see the sexual chemistry between the couples. It was nice to be able to kind of delve a little bit deeper into what’s going on for them.”

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Married at First Sight UK returns to Channel 4 on Monday 30th August at 9pm. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our hub for more Entertainment news.