Filming has wrapped on First Dates South Africa, with the 10-episode dating reality series that will start broadcasting on Wednesday 16 October at 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service.
First Dates SA has lured the highest number of applicants ever for a BBC commissioned programme in South Africa. Eventually 120 single contestants were selected, matched up with their ideal partner and met for the very first time at the First Dates pop-up restaurant that was built in Greenside, Johannesburg.
First Dates SA is produced by Rapid Blue, with the show, based on the Warner Bros. format, that was commissioned earlier this year by BBC Studios Africa and with filming that started earlier this month.
In First Dates SA, two South Africans go on a romantic restaurant blind date where they interact with a maître d', a bartender, and waiters, while they order various drinks and dishes and get to know each other to see if sparks can fly - all while cameras roll and capture their evening.
Using discreetly hidden cameras, First Dates South Africa will lay bare the real-life anatomy of a first date - from first impressions to parting thoughts at the end of the night.
Viewers can expect to see every awkward, funny and romantic moments while the couples try and put their best selves forward in the hopes of igniting a spark and securing an all-important second date, highlighting emotions and experiences that all people can all relate to.
The second season of First Dates Australia is broadcast from 28 July at 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle, with the first season of First Dates UK that will be shown daily from 7 October at 17:00.
The series will also be available for 30 days on MultiChoice's DStv Now Catch Up streaming service.
It took a team of 20 people, 4 weeks to design, build and make-over the First Dates SA restaurant, previously known as the Shadow Boxer in Greenside, and 4 days to strike the set.
There are 30 cameras placed discreetly in the First Dates SA restaurant to capture every detail of each couples first date, with a total of 60 dates that were filmed for this series and with each one taking on average 2 hours.
It takes on average 140 hours to edit one episode, with each of the 10 episodes that will aim to showcase 4 to 5 dates. While 2.5 km of cabling was used to install the cameras in the restaurant, 70 people were needed on-set every day to film the series.
These included chaperones, logistics, technical crew, medic, health & safety, catering and production team.