FIRST Dates returns tonight (January 19, 2020) but viewers will notice two familiar faces won't be returning.
Fan favourites Sam Conrad and Laura Trott are not part of series 16, which this time is filmed in Manchester.
Why aren't Sam and Laura on First Dates anymore?
Sam and Laura have been a staple of First Dates for many years.
However, both will not be returning to the show for the latest series.
Here we take you through why the two fan favourites are not part of the 2021 line-up.
The 25-year-old announced the news to fans online and explained that the programme's move from London to Manchester is behind the decision
Taking to Instagram, Laura said: "As you can see, I do not appear in this series of First Dates.
"They have moved up north to a new restaurant and wanted to freshen up the team for this series with some new local faces among the old faces, so I will not be featuring in this new series of First Dates unfortunately."
Admitting she is slightly relieved, Laura went on: "To be honest, I don't actually know how I would have fit filming in this year with working during the pandemic.
"I've needed every day off to chill out so it's actually been a welcomed break. I've missed the whole team though, that's for sure.
It is not known why Sam isn't on the show anymore.
The popular waiter has kept quiet as to why he isn't appearing on series 16.
The cheeky Londoner has thrilled fans since first appearing on the show in 2017.
His "will they or won't they?" relationship with waitress CiCi kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Sam also featured on spin-off show First Dates Hotel.
Who are the new First Dates staff?
Despite Laura and Sam not being part of the 2021 line-up, old favourites like Fred, CiCi, Grant and Merlin are still on the show.
But series 16 welcomes three new members of staff – Daniella, David and Fiona.
25-year-old Daniella is a born and bred Mancunian and has worked in the hospitality industry since her teens.
Then there is David who describes himself as a fabulous Scouser and has a silver service background.
Last but not least is Fiona, who joins Merlin behind the bar.
She is familiar with Manchester, having lived in the city previously for 6
When is First Dates on TV?
First Dates is back for series 16.
The show kicks off tonight (January 19, 2021) at 10pm on Channel 4.
You can catch up with all the past episodes now on the Channel 4 website, or if you have a BritBox subscription you can watch them ad free.
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