Blue Circle’s Patrick Hink introduces a comedic new twist on the dating game, as three celebrity duos compete to play Cupid. He talks to Toby Bourne.

There’s always been a competitive element to dating shows: who gets the opportunity to go on the date? Will they win their date’s heart?

Now, however, the dating game becomes secondary – it’s the rivalry between matchmakers that counts.

“In CELEBRITY MATCHMAKERS, the addition of the three celebrity duos really works,” says Blue Circle’s Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Hink, who produced the series for RTL Netherlands’ Videoland streaming platform.

“It’s so much more than a dating show, it makes it a real competition.”

While the introduction of three matchmaking teams is certainly an innovative twist, the celebrities are not just additions to the cast but active players in the game. “An eligible, single woman puts her love life in the hands of three teams of celebrities,” Patrick explains.

“They play Cupid and reach out to their online following to find suitors for her.”

Using their own social networks – or simply pulling likely candidates off the street – each celebrity pair is instrumental in choosing three suitors each, who they then guide and coach through the process. “They have to believe in them,” says Patrick. “Otherwise they won’t be as fanatical as they should be, and will lose the competition.”

Honed to Videoland’s core audience of 17 to 35-year-olds, every effort has been made to give the show as diverse and urban a feel as possible, not only in its casting but also in its choice of location and voiceover talent. Additionally the singles and their suitors are all highly active on social media.

Spiced up by the involvement and intervention of the matchmakers, the format follows a tried and tested path.

Nine suitors book into a luxury hotel, where they vie for the attentions of a single girl, with an elimination – or Check-Out – at the end of each episode. As the action unfolds, the celebrities watch the process in real time. “They comment, they can call, they can even interrupt – which is funny,” says Patrick.

The involvement of the celebrities helps in other ways too. It permits a broader range of suitors and maintains the excitement, humour and energy that other dating shows lose as their casts dwindle.

“You don’t just buy a dating show,” says Patrick. “There is much more. The heat is on and our celebrities don’t want to lose face. Will our singleton find the love of her life, and which celebrity team will turn out to be the ultimate matchmakers?”

“The addition of the three celebrity duos really works. It’s so much more than a dating show, it makes it a real competition.” - Patrick Hink, Blue Circle, The Netherlands