Two Strangers and a Wedding: A Response

(This article was originally published in the letters page of the Birmingham Mail in 1999.)

“We’ve noted with interest the correspondence in your newspaper about the “Two Strangers and A Wedding” event that we are running on BRMB. I should like to explain the background to the project and how it has developed.

“The subject arose directly from BRMB’s Late and Live programme.  This show highlights personal, social and emotional issues and has a large, dedicated audience.  After long discussions at the station we decided to follow up the issues raised by the programme.  We decided to ask local unmarried people to participate in an event that examines marriage in a very objective way.

“We launched the idea from a standpoint that says marriages should be based on common values and attitudes rather than looks and short lived attraction. We wanted to look at all the elements that make a marriage work and apply them responsibly.

“We took hundreds of calls from people wanting to participate in Two Strangers and a Wedding. This suggested to us that there  is real interest in the issues surrounding marriage.

“Our staff spent hours on the phone talking to young men and women. In the end we’ve had face to face interviews with 200 people – men and women. The most interesting thing to emerge was the genuine commitment to the idea of Two Strangers and a Wedding on the part of the interviewees. I wish your correspondent could hear how seriously they were taking the issues.

“Equally we are looking at all the elements that make a good relationship. Those involved have answered detailed questionnaires and will be interviewed several times. They will be undergoing psychometric tests and a lie detector test to evaluate their characters and personalities.

“The people we have talked to are genuinely looking for a suitable partner and for the final group we shall be talking to family and friends to ensure we’ve evaluated every element of personality to make this work.

“We will not belittle those who take part by attacking their motives. They are genuine individuals looking for a partner. Perhaps marriage should be a more considered matter that looks at old fashioned values and virtues?  I hope we are reflecting some of the real consideration that people should make before entering the important institution of marriage.

“We believe marriage is important and we are giving it a higher media profile than it has had for some time. This adds to the debate about modern marriage in a unique way and I’m glad that people are seriously considering the issues.

“We at BRMB are looking forward to the ongoing debate and the story as it develops on air and more than anything we are looking forward to the wedding itself.”

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