Last night a friend told me about the worst blind date that she had had. I will not get into it, but by the end of the night she was in Burke and Hare strip club. In a case like that, I would not be averse to being filmed on a first date, either for evidence or entertainment, it seems like a safe option. There are a few dating programmes on TV at the moment: Take Me Out, Dinner date, Come Date With Me, Young Free & Single. But here’s why I would choose Channel 4’s First Dates.
The concept is simple. It is a blind date. No lights to turn off, no microwave meal for one if you do not impress, no gimmicks. The result is either cringeworthy awkwardness or, simply just awkwardness, but often, it is adorable. First you get to meet the restaurant’s staff; Fred, the french maitre d’ / resident love philosopher; Cici, waitress, witness and shit-chat saviour; and the bartender, Merlin. Considering Paddy McGuinness is the alternative, I know where my vote lies. You are not being tricked or urged to fail, the format is such that any ridicule you receive will be your own fault, probably for being a tosser. I am an awkward person, I enjoy awkward situations. I would do it to cringe. Finally, you make new friends. In a painful chat with your date, most singletons leave a date with a new “just friend”. I would love a new friend.