The makers of hit TV dating show Take Me Out have denied claims that contestants are told who to pick.

The Daily Mirror reported female participants claimed the programme makers wanted them to turn men down to "make better television".

The popular ITV Saturday night show sees a single man try to impress 30 women who switch off their light if they do not like him - or keep it on if they do.

The show is fronted by comic Paddy McGuinness who regularly says the catchphrase: "No likey, no lighty."

The newspaper quoted several sources, all unnamed.

One said: "Some of the girls were asked to keep their lights turned on even when they were not interested in the man on offer.

"The whole thing is totally misleading, and leaves a lot of people feeling humiliated and exploited afterwards."

Programme makers Talkback Thames rejected the claims.

A spokeswoman said: "We strongly refute any claims that we tell the contestants how to act or how to respond - turning a light on or off is entirely up to individual choice."