Episodes begin with Cupid's arrow cutting through the "Un" of "Undateables". Seventy per cent of Britons would not consider having sex with someone who had a physical disability, according to the most recent survey of the nation's opinions on sex.Just over one in four would not rule out the possibility, while only 4 per cent have had sex with someone with a physical disability.The programme worked on, and fed into, the notion that disabled people and people with facial or other ‘disfigurements’ are just like ‘us’ inside. So how was it that these twelve people were enticed or induced to participate in this ludicrous exercise? Backsides were no doubt well covered against potential accusations of exploitation. Participants were shown mostly upbeat, putting on their glad-rags, buying flowers and in one case, writing a poem.If there were any bad or sad moments, we didn’t see them.If they’re going to meet up they have a chaperone with them as well. Not too much, anyway.” As some choose to decline arranged marriages, there are other ways to meet other eligible bachelors – including specialist dating services.“This is the problem,” says 30 year-old Nayera, who’s on the lookout for a husband at a dating event.The show is narrated almost like an Attenborough nature documentary, offering helpful advice to the viewers on how disabled people can best find a suitable mate.
Lazily, the Head of Documentaries takes notes out of hats one and two: ‘OCD Cleaners’, it reads.
“You’ve got these two cultures, and trying to find the common ground between them can be a discussion you need to have, I think.” Will a match-making event for Muslims help her find someone she connects with on a personal and faith-based level?
Picture the following scene: deep inside Channel 4’s Programme Commissioning Headquarters, there are two hats filled with notes.
Some of the participants were shown in pubs having a drink and a laugh with chums and workmates. The Undateables was a lucky opportunity for some free advertising for certain dating agencies that were involved in the programme. Unsurprisingly, they were a cheery bunch, ever optimistic that there is someone out there, somewhere, for everyone. Outsiders founder Dr Tuppy Owens wrote: “…the whole thing was a set-up, using the agency as a vehicle. Disabled people should not be treated in this way, and it makes us wonder about other ‘documentaries’ — are they all fiction?
According to The Guardian, the second episode of The Undateables reached an audience of 2.7 million.