This was the sign I was about to emerge from a narrow tube onto the studio floor to blinding lights and the screams of the audience.
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My chosen date asked me on camera to say 我喜欢你 (Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ – I like you) to her in English.
In my anxiety I said ‘I love you’ – something I honestly never thought I would say on Chinese television to someone I’d just met. The matchmaker is still important in China One of the strangest things about the show was how the contestants (both Chinese and foreign) were given very little time to talk to each other directly.
How did an English Language Assistant from the UK working in China suddenly find himself before an audience of millions?
Robbie Stanley-Smith tells us what he discovered during his moment in the spotlight.
I’m glad I had put myself in a totally Chinese-speaking environment; it's the best way to learn a new language.
But an hour of being grilled by twenty-four female contestants and three presenters was a wake-up call, to say the least.Suddenly the entire set starts to rotate around me and my insides begin to melt.I feel like I'm trapped inside a Transformer which has just woken up.To be honest, though, I was more nervous about speaking Chinese than anything!In the week after the show was broadcast, I did get recognised and asked for photos a couple of times in the city centre.For the background video segments, I was told what to say and given several attempts at recording each sentence.