A woman has given birth to the first ever ‘Dinner Date’ baby, after meeting the man who would become her husband, on the ITV show.
Jemma Simpson, 33, and Edd Rodgers, 37, welcomed baby Ember, seven years after they met on the dating show.
As well as being parents to the first ‘Dinner Date’ baby, they were also the first couple to get married after meeting on the show.
“I never thought that I would pick my future husband - and father of my daughter - from a menu,“said Simpson.
Simpson continued: “I basically owe it to the fact that I chose his menu over others - even though I don’t even like curry which he had as his main course.
“When we tell people how we met they don’t believe us.”
Rodgers added: “You never go on one of those shows thinking ‘oh I’m going to find someone forever’ let alone your wife - and the mother of your child. I didn’t think that for a second.
“If it wasn’t for ‘Dinner Date’ we would never have our lovely little daughter and we can’t imagine life without her now.”
‘Dinner Date’ involves a single man or woman picking three blind dates based on menus put together by hopeful singles who cook for them in their own home.
Simpson, who works as a makeup artist, applied to go on the ITV dating show in 2010 after having a blast on the first series of dating show ‘Take Me Out’ - but failing to find love.
“I saw the advert that asked ‘are you single and do you like food?’ and I was like ‘yes and yes’ so I applied for a bit of fun,” she said.
“I certainly did not thing in a millions years I would meet someone to build a relationship with - let alone get married and have a baby.
“I just did it to have the experience of being on TV for a bit of fun.”
After being presented five menus at her home in Birmingham, Simpson picked fireman Rodger’s offering of figs in parma ham, followed by Thai curry.
She was won over by Rodgers’ pudding of deep fried chocolate bar, but she jokingly told her family he was just the “best of a bad bunch”.
“It was a bit odd because he didn’t have a dining room so had to stick a table in the middle of his lounge,” said Simpson.
The shows see the ‘winner’ asked on a second date at a restaurant - while the two losers get a ready meal delivered to their door.
The pair went out for a fancy dinner at a posh restaurant in Rodger’s home town of Leicester, before sharing a cheeky kiss when the cameras disappeared.
Both admitted that it wasn’t love at first sight - but they exchanged numbers and became close in the six months after their date.
“We had a really good time and went for a few drinks and I got a taxi home and he added me on Facebook,” Simpson said.
They dated long distance before moving in together in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, eight months after their first date.
Rodgers proposed in 2012 - the day before he was on TV winning £18,000 on ‘Deal of No Deal’ - and they got married the following year in front of 120 friends and family.
Their photos of their TV appearances appeared around the reception room and Simpson’s dad mentioned it in his speech.
“My dad claims when he spoke to me after it to ask how it went on ‘Dinner Date’ he asked me ‘how did it go?’ and I said to him the guy I picked was ‘the best of a bad bunch’,” said Simpson.
“So he joked and said ‘So today congratulations on marrying the best of a bad bunch’.”
After three years of trying to fall pregnant naturally, the pair had IVF privately to conceive Ember.
She was born weighing 5lb 8oz on 3 November 2016.
They called her Ember because of Edd’s job and she was born near Bonfire Night.
“You don’t imagine that meeting someone random on a TV show will plan the rest of your life out,” said Rodgers.
“I had spent all those years trying to find a partner for myself and failing. And it turns out ITV did it for me.
“It seems they are a better judge of people and me than I am.
Simpson added: “You’ll be pleased to know he’s still a good cook.”