Love in the Flesh: BBC dating show release date, cast, who is presenter and Love Island star Zara McDermott?

The new BBC dating show will see online daters meet in person for the first time

Love in the Flesh is a new BBC Three dating show with a gimmick that’s slightly less ridiculous than Too Hot To Handle’s no sex rule, and The Ultimatum’s entire premise.

The couples taking part in Love in the Flesh are already dating but they have never met their partner in real life, hence the shows clever title.

Five couples who have only ever had contact online will meet each other for the first time in the luxurious setting of a Greek beach house - not a villa because that’s Love Island’s thing and this show is totally different.

And it wouldn’t be a modern dating reality show without ample opportunity for the couples to get to know each other and perhaps find someone else they would rather be with. Hang on, that is a bit like Love Island.

It’s hard not to see the similarities between the two shows, especially considering where the Love in the Flesh Zara McDermott presenter found fame, but Love in the Flesh is original in that the show’s contestants are already in relationships.

When will Love in the Flesh be released?

The first two episodes of Love in the Flesh will air on BBC Three on 23 and 24 March at 10pm, although both episodes will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer on 23 March.

Who are the Love in the Flesh contestants?

Christos and Niki

Christos, 19, is a restaurant manager from Worcester. He is a semi pro footballer, signed with Worcester City FC Reserves, and he has 50,000 TikTok followers, which is apparently a good thing.

Nikki, 22, is a carer from Brighton and has previously toured with Sean Kingston as a singer. She is also an influencer with 100,000 followers, which diminishes Chrsitos’ TikTok fame somewhat.

The pair have been chatting online for three months and call each other three times a day.

First connected online: 10 months ago

Millie and Shelby

Millie, 23, is an influencer from London (600,000 followers on TikTok, if you’re interested).

Shelby, 24, is an NHS worker from Worcester and co-hosts a podcast with her twin sister, called Gossip in the Closet.

Millie and Shelby have been talking online for ten months, but Millie is worried whether Shelby is genuinely into her or wants to use her to boost her own online popularity.

Millie and Shelby first made contact online ten months agoMillie and Shelby first made contact online ten months ago
Millie and Shelby first made contact online ten months ago

Hannah and Brandon

Hannah is a legal assistant from Huddersfield and is 24.

Brandon, 23, is a student from Sheffield, recently switching from engineering to English.

Hannah, 24, is a legal assistant and part time ring girl from Huddersfield. She has a Chihuahua, who she outfit matches with.

Brandon and Hannah have been speaking for six months, but while Hannah is a big talker, Hannah is more reserved.

Chibz and Shazelle

Chibz, 23, is a personal trainer from London, who has struggled with his body confidence since being diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo aged 14.

Shazelle, 21, is a receptionist and also from London, and has only been on a dating app once before.

Chibz and Shazelle have been chatting over Instagram for two years, and although they arranged two dates, Chibz was stood up on both occasions.

Chibz and Shazelle have been chatting online for two years but have never met in personChibz and Shazelle have been chatting online for two years but have never met in person
Chibz and Shazelle have been chatting online for two years but have never met in person

Jess and Kwame

Jess, 24, is a carer from Hertfordshire. She is a single mum who lives on her own and found dating much different since she became a parent.

Kwame, 28, is an entrepreneur from London. Despite making good money he still lives with his parents.

Even though the pair first connected online five years ago, they have never met in person or even FaceTimed.

Who is Love in the Flesh presenter Zara McDermott?

Host Zara McDermott became well-known after competing in the fourth season of Love Island, which she says is an “entirely different show” to Love in the Flesh.

Zara gained popularity after her Love Island appearance but went from hero to zero when she appeared on Made in Chelsea and it was revealed she had cheated on her co-star boyfriend Sam Thompson.

But, Zara found favour again, making an insightful documentary about revenge porn in which she spoke about her own experiences.

She made another documentary in November 2021 tackling the issue of rape culture in schools.

In Love in the Flesh, Zara will check in with participants, offer advice, and be a source of support when things get tough.