Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Saturday, 24 January 2015

Take Me Out's Laura Jackson Dishes On Backstage Dramas And What Really Happens On The Isle Of Fernando

The Debrief: Including the girl who dumped a guy for wearing odd socks.

If you’re anything like us then literally the only thing getting you through this miserable, miserable month is the fact that on Saturday nights, you can forget all the wind, rain and post-Christmas behaving snorefest for an hour and a bit and settle down with Paddy McGuiness, Take Me Out and Take Me Out: The Gossip.

This year, instead of TOWIE star Mark Wright welcoming the Paddy-matched couples back from the Isle Of Fernando, Mark and his new co-host of The Gossip, the very excellent Laura Jackson, are situated firmly ON the Isle Of Fernando in a super plush villa, ready to host the post-date couples and see if anything else will happen.

We caught up with Laura to talk boys with tatts, fake eyelashes and why Paddy’s better than Cilla.

Hello Laura! Did you love Take Me Out before you started presenting The Gossip?
Yes, I always used to watch it so when I got the job I was thrilled cause it wasn’t just me staying in every Saturday night for no reason.

How does it work with the couples getting from Paddy to you in Fernandos?
Paddy and all the girls and boys are down in Kent and if they get a date on the show they get taken to separate hotels and then flown to Fernandos the next day. So it’s actually all filmed in real time, which is brilliant.

So no excuse for them forgetting names or what they look like?
Oh God, no!

And you guys are in the villa waiting for them….
Yeah, they come to stay there for 24 hours, they get to do an activity, they get to go out in the evening, then they make breakfast for each other in the morning. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes they’re all kissing each other. It’s been pretty raucous but fun.

Do the crew give you the old heads up about each couple before?
Yeah, we hear about what happened on the ITV1 date so we’ve kind of already made a few judgements about how they feel about each other before they come to us. But it can change from just having one conversation, whether they like each other or not or someone says something that rubs them up the wrong way.

Has there been some ridiculous sentiments?
There was a girl who didn’t like some guy because she found out that he wore odd socks.

Really?
Yeah really, I mean we’ve all got these weird little things but it’s just really interesting.

Do you reckon there are going to be any couples that go the distance this season?
Quite a lot of couples really seemed to get on, so fingers crossed! We’ve still got to film the reunion, so let’s hope they’re still together. But I think they will be. Actually Take Me Out actually has a high success rate. I think it’s better than Blind Date was.

Oh wow, that’s good. Paddy is better than Cilla then?
Basically, yes.

Have there been any big dramas?
We only had one real drama, like really big emotional drama with one of the girls, so I think that’s towards the end. We had a girl who was going swimming and she wanted her fake eyelashes on – the girls like a fake eyelash. I think that if you are on the telly, you are going to think, ‘I want to look my best’. It’s completely understandable.

I’m baffled by the guys the girls keep their lights on for…
Yeah,  if they live at home, or if they have weird pets or if they’ve got weird little things about them – that normally puts the girls off.  The girls just love muscles, love tattoos and any guy that just comes down the lift and is like, ‘Hi, I’m so and so from Middlesborough’ and he’s really big with tattoos, no lights go off.

It’s weird isn’t it? It creeps me out, I hate muscles. I’d be the first person to turn off.
Me too, me too. I’m not keen on muscles, but yeah.

Does everyone make up their own one-liners?
Yes, they do. It’s all really real actually, like you know, the girls say their own lines, they’ve got their own personalities and it has to be like that otherwise it wouldn’t be them. They don’t feed them stuff, it’s all kind of quite real and Paddy obviously makes up his one-liners, which are absolutely hilarious.

He’s so funny. I really fancy him!
He’s very charismatic. Not that I’m surprised by that. Because he’s very tall and very funny and he’s very like, he’s just, he’s just northern and really funny. Yeah he’s definitely got that something.

It’s northern men isn’t it, they’re so much better.
It is northern men, totally.

What song would put warning bells springing in your head?
I’m Every Woman.

Yes that would be bad, definitely. Do you think the show would work the other way round?
Yeah, we said this and I think they tried it and it worked better with the boys coming down the lift, so they just kept it.

Finally, if you were on the show and a guy, what would your secret talent be in the last round?
I had a think about this one, I’d probably do, you know on Saturday Kitchen and they do the omelette challenge and make the omelette really quick, I’d probably do that. Just to show that I could make dinner in a hurry.

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Tags: TV We\'re Unashamedly Watching