I Kissed a Boy: The UK’s first ever gay dating show is coming to the BBC

Dating shows have been beamed into our living rooms for decades, and queerness has always existed – but it’s only now, in 2023, that the UK is getting its first gay dating series.

On I Kissed a Boy, airing on BBC iPlayer and BBC Three this weekend, narrator Layton Williams announces: “The path to love is never straight. It’s loud, it’s proud… and it all starts with a kiss.”

The series is hosted by Dannii Minogue, who has been a gay icon ever since she became one of the first ever pop stars to play at London’s iconic nightclub G-A-Y in the Nineties.

On the show, Minogue oversees the matchmaking of 10 single men who will meet for the first time with a smooch. They are not allowed to utter a single word to each other until their lips touch.

After they have kissed, the contestants – shacked up together in an Italian country house – are encouraged to get to know one other and see if they can make their new relationships work.

Inevitably, eyes begin to wander and some contestants start to stray.

Speaking to The Guardian about the show, contestant Gareth said: “I think, unfortunately, to the heteronormative audience there is still a view that homosexuality… it’s all just promiscuous and sinful, and that has stopped it from happening until now.”

Fellow housemate Subomi told the publication: “It has taken people a long time to feel comfortable with the concept. Their discomfort shouldn’t be a punishment we have had to bear, but that is how it’s been.”

‘I Kissed a Boy’ (BBC)
‘I Kissed a Boy’ (BBC)

Subomi added: “It’s important to remember what brought public perception to its current state – and this is down to all the trans and queer people, who continue to advocate for visibility and resist the discomfort of those trying to push us back into the dark.”

Meanwhile, Minogue said: “I can’t believe we’re in 2023 saying it’s Britain’s first gay dating show ever. When those words spill out of my mouth, I’m in shock.”

The first two episodes of I Kissed a Boy arrive on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Saturday 13 May, before the series launches on BBC Three on Sunday 14 May at 9pm. From then, the series will air weekly.