It seems love wasn’t always in the air during filming for the BBC’s new competition offering, The Ultimate Wedding Planner.
Fred Sirieix, who judges the efforts of eight aspiring wedding planners as they take control of couples’ big day alongside Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies and Raj Somaiya, has confessed there were clashes behind the scenes.
The First Dates star, 51, spoke to Metro.co.uk ahead of the series’ launch, and said he locked horns with Strictly star Sara, 39, but can you guess the reason why?
Well, Fred admitted he was embroiled in ‘quite a few fights’ with Sara… over who should be eliminated at the end of each episode.
He explained: ‘Me and Sara were in quite a few fights, very healthy debates, [which arose from us seeing] a situation or person through our very own specific lens and through our own experience.
‘And so it was about debating the pros and the cons of our thinking and being open to listening to one another. It was really, really interesting.’
Fred recalled a particular ‘funny’ argument over one of the planner’s handiworks, which Sara found ‘crafty’, while the TV personality thought it looked like ‘something from the pound shop.’
The maître d’ described Sara as ‘strong-willed’, ‘very, very smart’ and ‘very funny’ meaning they engaged in ‘healthy and respectful’ debates and fights over deciding which planner to give the boot.
He continued: ‘I wanted what I wanted, and she wanted what she wanted, and we have to argue like the Romans would do in their parliament: they debated and fought for their corner. So that’s what we did and it was great.’
And it wasn’t just Sara who felt the heat of Fred’s passion for the show as he hinted at being a tough judge on an absolute quest for ‘excellence and total professionalism.’
‘It’s a proper job. It’s a profession. And I know what it takes; I’ve been doing this for 30 years at the highest level and I am really only looking for the best. I’m not here to take prisoners,’ he warned.
Earning his praise for performing at ‘the highest level’ were Sara and Raj, who Fred described as dedicated ‘professionals’ who took great care and consideration when delivering their verdicts on the contestants’ wedding planning.
But it wasn’t all hard work and fiery debates, with Fred revealing the trio also hung out together when the cameras stopped rolling.
‘We had a lot of fun, lots of meals, lots of gin and tonics and bottles of wine. It was fun, we really had a good time,’ Fred added.
Ultimate Wedding Planner begins on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC Two.
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