The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Love-hungry Britons rush to speed-date

London, Jan. 30 (Reuters): Hundreds of love-hungry singles flocked to London’s biggest night of “speed-dating” — the new craze for brief encounters sweeping the British capital.

The aim is simple: boost the chances of dating success by getting a three-minute preview.

Drawn by the excitement of a mass blind-date in a nation known for its reserve, nearly 1,000 young singles turned up at last night’s sell-out event.

Speed-dating brings production line techniques to the field of romance. Singles are seated at tables around a room and for three minutes try to make an impression on their “date”.

When time is up, an adjudicator blows a whistle and one group, usually the men, moves to the next table in a process that is repeated many times. Players tick the names of those they want to meet for a real date, and the organisers put them in contact later. “Three minutes goes really fast,” said 33-year-old Caroline Earl.

The idea started in the US in the late 1990s as a way of helping young Jewish men and women meet spouses of their faith.

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