In a stunning episode of Catfish UK, a man discovered that the woman he thought he had fallen in love with over a period of eight months was a lot closer to home than he realised.
The success of the Catfish film in 2010 sparked a TV series dedicated to helping internet romantics figure out if their love interests are genuine.
Nev Schulman and his team dedicate themselves to helping people who fear they may have been fed a web of lies – and now the UK has its own version.
In a recent episode, a man saw himself convinced he had fallen in love again following a devastating divorce, but the mystery woman who had captured his heart was a lot closer to home than he realised.
Mario, an American man who works as a PE teacher and moved to live in London, thought he had fallen in love with Hannah, who he had been speaking to for eight months after meeting online.
The pair had matched on a dating app and Mario quickly developed an attachment towards her, sending each other messages every day – but ‘Hannah’ refused to speak on the phone whenever Mario suggested it.
As Hannah would always give an excuse to not take their relationship beyond messages, Mario grew suspicious, especially knowing his crush claimed to also be living in London.
As a result of consistently refusing to meet, despite living so close, Mario called MTV’s Catfish UK team in an effort to get to the bottom of it once and for all.
Things took a turn for the worse as the team, consisting of the hosts Oobah Butler and Julie Adenuga, used the show’s famous investigative method of reverse searching an image.
Consequently, the pair found that the image Hannah had been using to portray herself actually belonged to a woman living in New Zealand who had no idea she was being used by a catfish.
“I feel foolish, do they not have better things to do with their time than waste mine?” Mario said.
Mario, along with the two hosts, even attempted to call Hannah but the efforts were unsuccessful.
Not only did the girl hang up, but she also sent a text to Mario asking: “Catfish have just been in touch, if I meet you, do you promise I won’t lose you?”
After finally arranging a meeting between the two virtual love birds in a park, it was finally revealed that ‘Hannah’ was in fact Courtney, Mario’s housemate, business partner and former friend-with-benefits.
“I didn’t expect to see you today,” Mario tells her. “Out of everyone in the world I didn’t expect you.”
Trying to plead her case, Courtney revealed that Mario had been her best friend. She said: “We’ve known each other for almost five years now.
“I wanted to see what it would be like to be his girlfriend, because I am desperately in love with him.”
Mario stayed at a friend’s house following the revelation, and when Courtney told him she wanted a relationship, he admitted he would never be able to trust her and her hopes were dashed.
Catfish then featured a surprising update where Mario and Courtney were seen two months later living back together and still friends.