Right, what is the deal with the phones the cast get on Married at First Sight UK?

I can’t get over Ella basically sending JJ a ‘you up’ text on a Nokia brick

One of the big questions with every reality TV show is how much access the cast members are allowed to the outside world. Most of the time, they have to cut off all contact, and they’re not even allowed on the internet. However, in recent episodes of Married at First Sight UK, we’ve seen cast members using phones.

Ella was seen texting JJ on what looked like a Nokia brick, asking to meet up. But in the same episode Nathanial was FaceTiming a friend – so clearly had access to a modern phone and the internet. So what’s the deal?

Ella on one of the phones during Married at First Sight UK 2023, MAFS

via E4

Right, are the Married at First Sight cast allowed phones?

It’s previously been confirmed that all the brides and grooms have their phones confiscated, as they head to their hotel rooms ahead of meeting their matches at the weddings. Then, for the duration of filming, they are each given a production phone to prevent the contestants from finding out who they are to be paired with ahead of the weddings, and to stop contact with the outside world, so they can “focus” on their relationships.

MAFS Australia star Hayley Vernon said it’s much the same on the Australia version too. “So Channel Nine gives us production phones and every week we hand them in and the material from the production phone gets uploaded to Channel Nine,” she said. “And they choose what content they want to use off it.”

Jess Potter, who was on the show previously, said despite the strict rules, she used her MAFS burner phone number to download Tinder. “When I signed up to MAFS, the producers gave me a burner phone to use,” she said. “When I was in a taxi on my way home after quitting the show, I downloaded Tinder and used the number associated with my burner phone to create an account.”

So, unless you want to use the number to download a dating app because you’re unsuccessful, the burner phones themselves stop the cast having contact with the outside world. It looks as though they have the phone all throughout the show, and can use them to contact other cast members after the weddings, and the production team.

In terms of why Nathanial was able to FaceTime a friend, whilst nothing has been confirmed, that was probably a set-up call by production, as the friend had been unable to visit Nathanial’s apartment for an in-person visit.

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