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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Brides tested with virtual husband
Eastenders characters Ian Beale and Melanie
Eastenders' Mel might have preferred a virtual husband
Brides-to-be are being offered the chance to test out the trials of married life with a virtual husband.

The virtual lover - Tom-I Gotcha - makes 24-hour demands and comes complete with sound effects for snoring, breaking wind and sex.

The gadget is attached to the future bride's wrist and makes constant demands for gifts, dates, kisses, phone calls, and letters.


This is a test of day and night commitment

Touchstone Home Video
The Tom-I-Gotcha also lets women select categories such as the looks, confidence, salary and sexual appetite of their virtual lover.

The virtual man was designed to mark the video launch of the hit film Runaway Bride, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

A spokesman for Touchstone Home Video, which is bringing the hit film to the small screen, said: "Tom-I Gotcha is a virtual 'trial run' husband that offers a tasty bite of marital responsibility before the knot is officially tied.

"This is a test of day-and-night commitment with Tom-I Gotcha acting like a real man with 24 hour demands, sexy commands and secret admirers - in fact the only thing he can't do is mow the lawn."

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