Friday, 25 March 2011

Where's the romance, the love?

My local commercial radio station is running a competition: 2 Strangers & A Wedding. The station launched a campaign to find a single woman interested in finding the man of her dreams, and is now looking for a man for her. In April they are to marry at the Oxford Malmaison and honeymoon in Mallorca. This may be sounding like the dream wedding package to some of you, but here's the catch: the couple will not meet until their wedding day.

I haven't paid enough attention to the competition to know the intricate details, but a couple of things immediately  spring to mind... They're not going to meet?! The entire competition from the applications to the actual wedding is only two months, so even via exposure in the radio station they'll barely know each other. What if there's no spark? Worse still, what if there's a spark on one side and not the other? The terms and conditions require the applicants to disclose any criminal convictions, but what if one of them is a nutter!

Local clergy have objected on the grounds that this makes a mockery of the sanctity of marriage. I can see why they are upset, although my agnosticism means I'm not that bothered. I do worry that it makes a mockery of the level of personal commitment that marriage implies. The couple will be taking vows that they have no ability to commit to: how can they promise their lives to a complete stranger?

There has been a lot of discussion on the station's website. Some have compared it to arranged marriages. I think this is different: although arranged marriages have had bad press, there are some that are successful. These successful ones are where the parents have chosen carefully knowing their daughter or son's personality and outlook on life. This radio station cannot possibly think their panel (combined with the infinite wisdom of their listeners) are capable of making a good match?

In my eyes this is simply a competition to win a free holiday to Mallorca with an "interesting twist". What do you think?

Image: Sharron Goodyear /


  1. What a joke, I really hope that they aren't allowed an anullment and that they are forced to try and make they're marriage work for a month!

  2. This is obviously just a marketing ploy to get people tuning into the radio station.

    I think Jodie Marsh did something similar a few years ago for a reality TV program.

    Like yourself I am not religious so not too bothered about the whole sanctity of marriage thing. But I do think this does make a mockery of relationships per se, as a relationship is more than two people being put together. I think this says something about the times we find ourselves in when people are willing to do this either 1) to find a partner or 2)to get a free holiday...sad really.

  3. I'm not religious either but I do respect the beliefs and think the clergy have it spot on here. Whether it's from a commitment or a religious sanctity point of view it's just plain stupid.

    Cheap publicity stunt by the station and anyone who enters is obviously a desperate reality wannabe. Tragic.


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