THE BBC has fired the first shot in the summer ratings war with a new series of the popular reality show Date My Cat.
Each week four potential suitors will compete for an all-expenses-paid date with the week's chosen cat and a cash prize of £200.
The contestants will go through a series of demanding tests including their knowledge of cats, the care and treatment of cats and the all important 'taste test' when they have to sample five varieties of cat food and then finish a whole bowl of their favourite.
The biggest challenge will come near the end of the show when each contestant must prove that they really do prefer cats to dogs.
Anyone found to be lying has to dress up as a cat and apologise to each member of the audience individually.
Previous winners have enjoyed spectacular dates such as chasing rats in a derelict petrol station, playing with a half-dead bird and just sitting and staring at nothing in particular for three and a half hours.
One of last year's star cats, Mr Boombastic, from Wrexham in North Wales, now presents Extreme Makeover UK on Living TV.
The show has fought its way back to popularity after one winner was discovered to be allergic to cats and spent the entire date gasping for breath in a near fatal asthma attack.
Date My Cat is the centrepiece of BBC2's Summer of Cats.
Other shows will include Most Haunted Cats, Simon Schama's 35-part series A History of the British Cat and a David Attenborough special Is You're Cat to Blame for Global Warming?