EXCLUSIVE: Britain is getting its own spin on a Bachelor-style dating show after UKTV picked up an eight-part series based around ‘Lady’ Lara Asprey, who has provided dating advice to those close to the royal family.
UKTV’s female-skewing channel W has ordered The Ultimate Matchmaker, which follows some of Britain’s most eligible singles through the eyes of Asprey, often known as the Sloane Arranger, from Warner Bros-backed Ricochet, which produced Channel 5’s UK version of The Bachelor.
The show, which will air later this year, will follow the staff at Asprey’s eponymous dating agency and each episode will see singletons attend a series of three mini dates set in an amazing venue. They will then pick one of those dates to see again and viewers will follow the couple on an even glitzier date to see how they get on.
Asprey claims to have matched several high-profile clients through her service including one of Prince Charles’ polo-playing pals, a Shakespearean actor and a number of A-list actors.
It is the channel’s first series set in the dating world and forms part of UKTV’s major investment in originations. The BBC Studios and Discovery-backed broadcaster has been stepping up with series such as The Wave, a ten-part water quiz show from Lionsgate-backed Primal Media, Celebrity Haunted Mansion from All3Media’s North One Television, as well as the company’s first drama, Anna Paquin-fronted PR thriller Flack, which is a co-production with U.S. network Pop.
The Ultimate Matchmaker was commissioned by UKTV commissioning editor Helen Nightingale, director of commissioning Richard Watsham and genre general manager, comedy and entertainment Steve North. It is executive produced by Ricochet’s Emma Walsh, directed by Claire Egerton-Jones and series produced by Sandy Watson.
Nightingale said, “In the year that Prince Harry marries Meghan, don’t we all just yearn for a love story with a fairy tale ending? This exciting new series for W is a funny and heart-warming peek into the extraordinary world of a very exclusive dating agency.”
North added, “We’ve wanted a show about dating ever since W was launched but we knew it had to be just right. We’re really thrilled to have found the perfect match and we know viewers will really respond to The Ultimate Matchmaker.”