This Week We’ve Been Unashamedly Watching… First Dates

Channel 4's dating show returns


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

This series of First Dates appears to be taking place in the Camden branch of Wagamama in London. If you're not familiar with it, it's the one where you spot the restaurant and then walk three quarters of a mile around the block to find the entrance, and then retrace your steps because the door is actually in the bit that you assumed was the way into a tiny secret leisure centre, while your pals give themselves RSI and knock over all the chilli sauce as they wave at your oblivious face from inside the building.

But they have gussied it up a bit, with tableclothes and such. They’re not making anyone sit on communal benches. They’ve even installed soft, seductive lighting, possibly for the benefit of the woman who murmurs, 'I’d love to have that Cinderella moment where you meet that person and all the lights go off.' Right. You’re looking to meet someone who can… cut power cables?

She cries so photogenically that the tears make her face look like a Limited Edition Katie Price Crystal Effect Phone Case.

Our first First Date is a meeting between Regan, a gorgeous if distasteful Amy Winehouse tribute act, and a mistress of the soundbite who can cry on cue, and Ross, a legendary figure in the Bournemouth party scene thanks to his 'leg on a string' dance. Regan spells out what she wants in a man. 'I can’t be arsed with someone who works for David Cameron. That means on the dole!' Hear that? George Osborne is on the dole! Because she is a sexually confident lady, she orders a Porn Star Martini (and here’s a message to all you ker-azy drinkers of pink things with rude names, it’s just a load of off-brand Archers. Knock back a load of amyl and lube and then tell me you’ve had a Porn Star Martini.) 'My appearance is everything, I hide behind it,' she comments, by way of introduction. 'The lips, the hair, the clothes.' Regan, you cannot possibly be hiding behind your clothes because we can all see your nipples.

Ross breaks the ice with a magnificent joke about going to buy six cans of Sprite 'but I accidentally picked seven up!' (7 Up! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!) He’s right, he sure knows how to 'crank' a joke. Regan tells the camera she’s been in care and has trust issues – my heart goes out to her, but it’s hard to tell whether she’s being genuine or just knows what makes good telly, especially as she cries so photogenically that the tears make her face look like a Limited Edition Katie Price Crystal Effect Phone Case. Tender, sensitive Ross adds that he 'normally go[es] for cute blondes… but I still would.' Result! They tell the camera they don’t fancy each other, but they go for another drink.

Now to Lucy and Ben. Lucy too has trust issues: 'I used to be nice, but now I’m a bitch. When you’re cheated on, the first thing you do automatically is you think you’re fat.' Lucy, you’re holding back on us! Share more! Share harder! Hilarious Ben rejoins with 'You’re not fat… you’re bubbly.' Ben is good value. I quite fancy Ben. Ben has issues of his own. There are no fingers on his left hand. 'So, yeah… quality,' he tells the camera, as he showcases his digital dilemma. Still, he manages to shell a prawn and he makes Lucy do a little hair flicking. I feel like he can help her love again, and will never make her think she’s fat. Hurrah!

Paul has a dramatic stammer, and although kind Christine keeps apologising for helping him finish his sentences, it’s clear the date is doomed.

Rory, the Jamie Biscuits lookalike, introduces us to the pejorative term 'log', as in, 'I don’t want her to think "Who’s this log?!"' He’s on a date with the gorgeous Danielle, who models. 'So, are you like catalogue or commercial, or…?' asks Rory. 'I don’t really know!' giggles Danielle. Babestation, then. Rory orders Malbec. 'Dunno why they make it so hard to pronounce,' he complains. The wine-making Argentinians? Um, I think you’ll find they speak in Spanish because that’s their national language. The date ends well with Babestation Danielle leaning in and telling Rory 'You smell really nice...Hermes?' is what Rory thinks he smells of, pronouncing it without the accent. You smell like a shipping company? Glad that’s working for you.

Then we meet uber-accomplished writer Christine and Paul, a death-metal addict from Weymouth. Paul has a dramatic stammer, and although kind Christine keeps apologising for helping him finish his sentences, it’s clear the date is doomed. 'Why did you agree to do a blind date if you get really nervous?' she says gently, as Paul contorts his face into a shape that could hang off the side of Notre Dame, in an attempt not to cry. Paul, it’s for the best – she doesn’t touch booze or dairy. You’ll meet someone else. Someone you can take to fondue parties. They agree to be 'buds'. 'I just got myself a new friend! In Weymouth!' chirps Christine. And I’m sure that as soon as the floods clear up, you’ll be down there aaaaall the time.

Mo, who fantasises about having a girlfriend who wears body-con and bellydances, has been paired up with Chloe, who goes everywhere with a tiny dog that looks like it has been styled by Kevin Rowland. Mo is left alone with the dog. 'I don’t really like you,' he says, between strokes. No romance for you, Mo.

And self-styled cougar Angie meets 27-year-old ex military man Chris, who has a very weird half-body tattoo. It stops so abruptly that you could trace the line with a 30cm shatterproof ruler. Still Angie is very, very keen on Chris’s body, height and hair 'but he lives a little bit far away.' Gentleman Chris won’t let her pay because he’s 'not going to ask a girl for money, it’s disgusting.' Bloody hell, doesn’t Channel 4 pick up the tab for this one? Apparently they hung out after their date and 'neither were disappointed.' Perhaps Angie has a complementary, spookily neat tattoo on the right side of her body. Despite the enormous piles of shellfish that were consumed, we’re not told that anyone got a dodgy tummy and shat themselves on the way home, so on that count, all the First Dates were success stories.

Follow Daisy Buchanan on Twitter @Notrollergirl

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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