Channel 5 dating show Blind Date sent two bisexual men on a holiday to a country where it is illegal for them to have sex.

The dating show, which is fronted by gay TV host Paul O’Grady, came in for criticism over the blunder following an episode on Sunday (May 5), which was the show’s first episode to feature out bisexual contestants.



The two men who were eventually paired up, Jordan Shannon and Jesse Drew, were rewarded with a free holiday to Saint Lucia.

Gay and bisexual men can face ten years in prison

However, homosexuality is actually still criminalised in Saint Lucia, under Colonial-era laws that were never repealed.

Men can face up to ten years in prison under the country’s penal code for having gay sex, and politicians in the country have rebuffed efforts to repeal the law.

Blind Date contestants Jordan Shannon and Jesse Drew
Blind Date contestants Jordan Shannon and Jesse Drew

Speaking to the Daily Star, Jordan Shannon said: “I didn’t know [about the law] until I was told on the way to the hotel. I thought, ‘What the f**k?’”

“The hotel security woman told me how most gay men were in the closet there as homosexuality is illegal. It’s 10 years in prison if caught.”

UK travel advice warns LGBT+ travellers to avoid ‘public affection’ in Saint Lucia

The UK government’s official travel advice for Saintt Lucia warns LGBT+ people to exercise caution in the country due to the laws.

It states: “Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean.

“Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal.

“LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention.”

Blind Date producers yet to apologise

A spokesperson for Channel 5 said: “We didn’t know and are taking this up with the production company.”

The show is produced by So Television, the production company founded by gay presenter Graham Norton.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shannon and Drew have since returned to the UK without incident, and are due back on the show on May 12 to discuss their trip, though it’s unclear whether the segment will go ahead.

The May 5 episode does not currently appear to be available for viewing on Channel 5’s on-demand player.




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