First Dates - Series 6 TX: 19 Mar 2016, Week 16


Series 6

The First Dates restaurant is back in action for more romance. The team, including waiters Sam, Cici and Laura and barman Merlin, help to set the atmosphere under the watchful eye of maitre d' (and philosopher of love) Fred.

Episode 6 - Tuesday 19 April, 10pm, Channel 4

First through the door is 6 foot 4 tattooed teetotaller Danny. This Brummie hunk wants a girl who’ll accept him for who he is. His match is Scouse mum of one Kate, a lady with a penchant for tattooed giants. There’s definite flirty chemistry between them, but as Danny opens up about his recovery from addiction, their burgeoning romance is put to the test.

In the world of dating, sharp-tongued anaesthetist David needs a healthy injection of love. His date for the evening is rugby loving marketing manager Alex, who after moving to the big city from Norwich has grown tired of the heady world of gay dating. He’s looking for someone with “husband material”. The only problem? He can’t remember Alex’s name. And puckish Alex isn’t in any rush to remind him.

50-year-old warehouse manager Gary has been married twice before, but has since hit a run of bad luck – lots of first dates, but no second ones. His blind date is 48 year old Lancashire lass Wendy. With two divorces under her belt she too is no stranger to heartbreak. As unlucky in love Gary proceeds to break breaks a cardinal rule – don’t be rude to the waiting staff – will this be an end to his winning streak or yet another own goal?

When it comes to love, Essex poet Louis is one couplet short of a rhyming pair. On his very first ever date he’s looking for a romance worthy of Shakespeare. His muse for the evening is a 25-year-old photographer whose friends call her “Paranoid Sophie”.

29-year-old events planner Jo may be used to the finer things in life but following the break-up of her only ever relationship has no one to share them with. Her dream man? David Beckham. Filling in for Golden Balls tonight is 37 year old self-made single dad Chris whose current love (apart from his three kids) is his brand new custom made BMW. Jo claims she’s not maternal - “I like things clean, and I like white things… and I don’t think you can mix children and white things” – so as Chris drops the kid bomb she’s left with two choices, run for the hills or give love a chance.

Episode 5 - Tuesday 12 April, 10pm, Channel 4

Thirty three year old Ben has not been the same man since a road accident twelve years ago. His brain injury has turned his world upside down and he’s had to go back to basics in both life and love. Ben worries that dates will reject him when they find out his condition. His date Charlotte, a fellow Mancunian, has her own confidence issues to overcome admitting she always think suitors fancy her mates not her. Can avid Manchester United fan Ben win her affections with his Northern charm?

Twenty six year old, fiercely ambitious Megan is gearing up for the next Olympics. But her rigid training schedule has left her running short of time for love. Equally driven, entrepreneur Steven from Kent has his work cut out trying to melt self-confessed “hard bitch” Megan’s heart. After a shaky start, the date races full speed ahead and it’s Megan that’s trying to get a laugh from Stephen when she attempts to impress him with her tried and tested jokes.

Eternal romantic, media buyer Xanthi has already carefully planned out his wedding day. He has it all sorted, the guestlist, the Tom Ford suit, the country manor everything minus the groom. After a less than successful first visit, the thirty year old is back in the restaurant to hopefully find a more mature man. Twenty five year old, Richard from Brighton, might be just what the doctor ordered. The date gets off to an awkward start when Xanthi criticises Richard’s hometown of Birmingham. But when the food and cocktails start flowing, let the flirting commence.

Serial dater Heather takes dating very seriously. She has two diaries- one for work, one for her dates. She knows ‘the one’ is out there she just needs to find him. She is matched with graphic designer Paddy whose dream women is Jodie Marsh. Heather fits the bill spending hours exercising and has the tattoos to match. The pair get on immediately admitting they’re desperate for drinks and laugh over Paddy’s nervousness over getting a tattoo. But how will the date fare when Paddy starts telling Heather about an ex girlfriend?

Thirty five year old Liam believes women find his complicated dating past unattractive but his main sticking point is that they’re frightened that he’s a policeman. Many women have asked him to arrest them and to see his truncheon be he admits it can be a “turn on or a turn off”. But will eternal singleton Claire, a PE teacher from Blackpool, like a man in uniform? Liam forgets he’s on a date and starts interrogating Claire, finding it hard to believe she’s been single for five years. But when the drink starts flowing and after a thorough questioning Liam identifies that Claire ticks a lot of his boxes.

Episode 4 - Tuesday 5 April, 10pm, Channel 4

Retired labourer Ted 69, lost his beloved wife Carol three years ago. Suddenly alone after forty years of marriage, Ted is taking his first steps back into the dating world. His match is 67 year old retired legal secretary Marian. Four times married, “It wasn’t the marriages I found difficult”, she says, “It was the divorces”. But Marian hasn’t given up on love. And while her friends have forbidden her from getting hitched again, she is still looking for the soul mate she’s never managed to find. After discussing their funeral arrangements – Ted is going for Elvis, Marian for Barbara Streisand - the conversation comes back to Ted’s wife. And as the date draws to a close, will Ted be ready to move on?

Named the UK’s “hottest MILF” in 2014, 47 year old single mum of two Fran is on the lookout for a real man. Sick of “carrying men”, she’s also looking for someone who can “see past the glamour”, because “There’s more to me than wahey hey!” Taking on Fran is 46 year old builder and double-divorce Colin. A builder and part time erotic thriller writer Colin who’s “very drawn to flirty, cheeky women”. It’s a fun and flirty date, but when Fran reveals she’s been bringing up her disabled son alone for the past ten years, it strikes a sympathetic chord with dad of two Colin.

Immaculately groomed part-time model Linford 25, is in the beauty pageant business. The proud holder of the Mr. Leicestershire title, he’s something of a local celebrity in his home town. Joining Leicester’s finest is 29 year old advertising sales manager Xanthi from London. Fond of “a bit of a diva”, and used to attracting high maintenance men, it looks as though Xanthi may have met his match. But after years of being bullied at school, Linford is still struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. He confesses to his date that, “I’ve always wanted to be straight and even now, I wish I was straight.”

Left broken-hearted when his engagement was called off, Coffee shop manager Oliver is looking for another soulmate. Despite being a serial dater, he’s never chatted a woman up in his life and confesses that flirtation is “not my strong point.” Boasting a similarly unsuccessful love life is his blind date, personal assistant Loren: “I’m the only single one left in our group. I didn’t imagine I would be single at 30. I’m hoping for a whirlwind!”. When Oliver reveals he used to run an erotic toy business will Loren see the funny side?

Also in the restaurant this week, shopfitter Charlie is looking for a girl that's more than just window dressing. He meets fine art graduate Niamh, who has been compared "a puppy who constantly needs to be walked".

Episode 3 - Tuesday 29 March, 10pm, Channel 4

In a first for the restaurant we welcome the mother of all double dates, as mum and daughter duo Maria and Charlotte arrive looking for love. Mum Maria is back on the scene after a lengthy spell of serial dating. She’s been matched with 46 year old builder Steve, a divorce who has a saucy way with the ladies. For daughter Charlotte this date is a big deal, she’s a single mum who’s looking to find a man to heal her broken heart. And what a man she’s got – 25 year old bodybuilder Ben, who spends most of his days flexing his muscles in a tiny pair of pants.

30 year old academic Dan is a self-confessed “acquired taste” who prefers to flirt “intellectually”. So it’s a good thing he’s been matched with accomplished cancer cell biologist Jemma. Hailing from North London, she’s swimming against the tide of her parents’ expectations that she find a nice Jewish boy to settle down with. The pair both have brains in common, but as Dan demonstrates his flirting skills will this be an affair of the heart as well as the mind?

Long distance lorry driver Paul is sick of life on the open road and is looking for a lady to go the distance with. His date is Brummie rocker Rozie, a divorced single mum with a cat called Metallica. As the two bond over which sauces to use with their mashed potatoes it’s clear these salt of the earth forty-somethings are feeling flirty, and it can’t come soon enough for Paul. After a stint in the army he was sadly left homeless. After a long and painful process he’s finally got back on his feet.

Scouse fashion exec Katie may be 22 but she’s never had a boyfriend and her Chinese parents are starting to think she’s a lesbian. Her date is 6 foot 4 Mancunian model James. With a blue steel to make the ladies swoon, he’s right up Katie’s street – but with very little confidence when it comes to men will she miss the very obvious signals being sent her way?

Episode 2 - Tuesday 22 March, 10pm, Channel 4

Self-confessed “geezerbird” Lucy is no stranger to the First Dates restaurant, having matched with forensic investigator and roll neck fan Sav on her last visit last year. But now, men are off the menu – she’s on the hunt for the love of a good woman. Enter recruitment manager Nicola who’s not afraid to speak her mind and give Lucy the once over, criticising her hairstyle, rucksack and tattoos. Has loud, out and proud Lucy finally met her match?

Since his divorce sixteen years ago, EastEnder Terry has got very comfortable living the single life - his love for the horses and football has left precious little time for romance. But his bachelor days may be numbered when he meets jeweller and widower, Lisa. It looks like a perfect match but when Terry goes into a bit too much detail about his solo interests, he veers into dangerous territory.

Junior Doctor and Radiologist Nick finds it easy to talk to his patients in the hospital but struggles to chat up the ladies socially. With an important medical exam the day after his date, Nick puts himself under a lot of pressure from the start. Fellow Doctor, 34 year old GP Emma, should be the perfect match. She’s hoping her appointment with Doctor Nick will cure her dating dry patch.

On the hunt for someone to share his love of opera, high flying trainee lawyer James likes the finer things in life. His date, 21 year old media buyer Mark, has been an opera buff since he was 13. They bond over their mutual love of Wagner but when James admits to being a hard core 1D fan Mark might head in one direction – the door!

After a dating disaster last week, part time burlesque dancer Becky is back. Admitting she would have “eaten her last date for breakfast,” this time she’s after a big, burly man’s man. In walks 6ft Bristolian tattooist John. They get off to a flying start flirting over Becky’s burlesque nipple tassel routine but bumps in the road lie in wait when John reveals he has an intimate piercing and Becky admits that she’s going through a divorce.

Episode 1 - Tuesday 15 March, 9pm, Channel 4

Maître D Fred and his team are back, opening the doors of the First Dates restaurant once again to hopeful singletons from all over the country.

First to arrive is sassy choir master Jay. On the surface, he may be “fab-u-lous” but life has dealt Jay some hard knocks - a homophobic attack at age 17 left him so severely hospitalised he had to learn to walk again. Jay is now looking for someone who will embrace him for all he is. Similarly, investment banker Robbie is looking for a partner who will accept him completely. Things end on a high when showman Jay channels chick flick “Legally Blonde” and leads Robbie in a “Bend and Snap” routine.

A property manager by day and a glamorous Burlesque dancer by night, 28-year-old Becky is hoping sparks will fly with her match, Bristolian comedian Lewis. He’s clearly smitten but Becky has a bomb to drop over starters and wants someone who’s man enough to deal with it.

Geordie singleton Sonia is on a quest to find her Prince Charming – her dates quickly vanish when they find out she’s a single mum. But her luck may be in with brawny 27-year-old Ashley – an unlikely-looking scientist. There’s an instant chemical reaction when Ashley reveals he’s in a hurry to settle down and have kids. And when things get steamy over dessert the couple contemplate running off to Gretna Green….

For 43-year-old Uma, coming to the restaurant is especially meaningful. She would like to fulfil a promise made to her late sister to give First Dates a try. “She was always giving me dating tips, like straighten my hair, don’t wear an Indian outfit!”. Uma’s match is busy A & E Consultant Ruth, whose love life has flat-lined. Luckily Uma has a handy acronym to remind her of what she’s looking for – CHIPS: “confident, honest, independent or intelligent, passionate and sexy.” It soon becomes clear that Ruth might just fit the bill...

At 37, Events Organiser Gemma hasn’t had much luck with men but fears she only has herself to blame – “a lot of my friends say to me, if you’re going on a date, be myself. That’s the worst thing I could do!” Her spikey sense of humour lands a little close to the bone for her date, Italian designer Paolo. But all is not lost when 80s music fanatic Gemma discovers Paolo shares her passion for Queen and it looks as though there might be ‘a kind of magic’ tonight…

Series 5

The New Year ushers in a fresh batch of singletons to the First Dates restaurant. Maître d’ Fred and his band of merry matchmakers are once again on standby to give Cupid a helping hand at Britain’s most loved-up restaurant.

For some pairings, it’ll be their first and last date. For others, it might just be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. What happens next is up to them, but at the end of each meal they’ll be asked the big question: ‘Will you see each other again?’.

First Dates: Be My Valentine - Friday 12 February, 9pm, Channel 4

With the season of love arriving, Fred and the team welcome a batch of hopeful singletons all looking to find "the one" in a very special episode for Valentine’s Day.

First to arrive is Mayfair-based jewellery designer Miki. Born in Azerbaijan and used to living the high life, she wants a man to treat her like a princess – “my granddad wants me to marry Prince Harry”. The ‘spare’ may not be free, but an heir (of sorts) arrives in the form of hapless city worker Arnie, who has distant connections to Italian aristocracy. His flirting technique? Some Valentines poetry, including the end line: "yeah she's proper fit." Classy.

IT worker and self-confessed nerd Sam may be a whizz with a computer but his love life needs a reboot. Forever trying to find a girl who shares his love of cosplay – he’s looking for a soulmate in the shape of Game of Thrones’ Daenerys. Which is lucky really, as his date Livvy likes nothing more than dressing up as the Mother of Dragons. As the two bond over whether they’re a Stark or a Targaryen its clear this date is a match made in geek heaven.

Sick of only attracting sexters, 44-year-old divorcée Louise usually spends Valentine’s Day down the gym “with all the other losers”. She’s keen to find “a real man” before the big day arrives. Providing a much-needed injection of testosterone to proceedings is South African ex-army soldier and father of two Mark. There’s an undeniable spark as Mark impresses Lou with his macho man ways, including a choice icebreaker about the time he survived a shooting without even batting an eyelid.

23-year-old Patrick has never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s, having only come out a year ago. Providing an experienced helping hand is 24-year-old Wayne. Born to deaf parents, he looks to his mum and dad as an inspiration and is ready to find a man to marry. In a heart-warming moment, Wayne teaches Patrick the sign language for “You have beautiful eyes”. It’s pretty clear Cupid’s been working overtime on these two.

33-year-old mummy’s boy Frank is back in the restaurant for a second crack at the whip. He’d like to receive a Valentines card from someone other than his mum. Previously scuppered by his lack of confidence he’s determined to put his best foot forward on his date with half-Iranian nurse Catherine. She wants nothing more than to find someone to cuddle in with on a Saturday night while watching Titanic but is also a bag of nerves when it comes to dating. Will this date sink or swim?

Whatever the outcome this episode is not to be missed. As a wise Frenchman once said - “For those still yet to find ‘The One’ fear not, because in the First Dates Restaurant every day is Valentine’s Day”.

Episode 4 - Thursday 4 February, 10pm, Channel 4

The First Dates restaurant opens its doors again to hopeful singletons from all over the country. Maître d’ Fred and his team are on hand to help fan the flames of romance.

Loveable Liverpool lass Alex has never liked the way she looks, comparing herself to “a stripper who’s knocked out a couple of kids”. Since moving to London, she’s only attracted a stream of “posh boys” who only introduce her to their parents as an act of rebellion. So it’s lucky she’s been matched with salt of the earth trade union rep Sam. They say never talk politics on a first date, but these two card carrying “Corbynistas” are a match made in heaven. That is until Sam reveals his deepest darkest secret – an everlasting love for Robbie Williams.

Despite turning the big 5-0, three times divorced Zina is very much young at heart and is on the hunt for husband number 4. But what would four weddings be without a funeral? Enter Zina’s blind date - undertaker to the stars, Chris – he’s done the honours for Amy Winehouse and Shane Ritchie’s aunt. His job has so far been the kiss of death but he’s convinced he’s a catch - “the benefits of dating an undertaker? It doesn’t matter what you look like in the morning because guaranteed I’ve seen worse”.

28 year old Scott admits that he can be a bit ‘Jekyll and Hyde’. He’s known for being a bit of a clown around his mates but when it comes to relationships there’s nothing he loves more than getting “cuddly wuddly” on the sofa with a girl. His match for the evening is 27 year old make-up artist and DJ, Charli who’s devised a canny method of testing any potential beau. The test? Seeing how he reacts to her plastic frog shaped handbag called ‘Pascal’…

With his pink blazer and 80s rock star image, 33 year old mummy’s boy Frank may look like the most confident player in the world but when it comes to women he’s painfully shy. He’s been matched with Nisha who regularly falls victim to dating men of the ‘vanishing variety’. Since transforming herself into a ‘gym fit’ beauty she’s booming with confidence. As Frank’s nerves start to get the better of him, here’s hoping some of that will rub off on him.

Last into the restaurant, is 31-year-old restaurant manager Matthew who’s been to Disneyland a staggering 43 times, but is yet to meet his Prince Charming. Fellow Disney fanatic Paul could be the one to give him his happy ever after.

Episode 3 - Thursday 28 January, 10pm, Channel 4

Hailing from Essex, eternal party boy Danny is looking to leave his fun loving ways behind and find a special woman to settle down with. At 38, he's tired of the ‘ditzy’ young girls he usually hooks up with. He meets straight talking hairdresser Lauren. Her dream date is Mark Wright - and with his boyish charm, Danny is right up her street. However, all the perma-tanned chutzpah in the world can't prepare her for Danny arriving with a little too much ‘Dutch courage’.

City slicker Daniel 26, is a broker who’s tired of ‘fishbait’ and ‘honey badgers’, (women who chase City boys for their money.) Defying the City playboy stereotype, churchgoer Daniel prides himself on being an old-fashioned gentleman who’s looking for a lady. His date, 23 year old advertising Exec Millie, is on the hunt for a man with manners and “someone with a bit more decorum about them”. Her tip for all the men out there? “If you want to woo a girl, buy her some flowers, don’t send me a dick pic.” Millie soon has Daniel pegged as a “smooth” operator and not the typical city “knob”. Things get steamy over a shared dessert as the couple muse over what might be the perfect second date.

Liver bird Emma 33 is yet to meet a man who can handle her ways and wants to bag herself “a man’s man, who you just wanna look at and go, ooh, I just wanna eat you!”. On her menu tonight is 39-year-old ex-Navy gunner Ian. He may have a hard man job but he's still nervous about one thing... turning 40.

Everyone's favourite high-heel wearing Italian Paolo is back for a second shot at love. His first date nose-dived when he revealed his penchant for a kitten heel and he’s still searching for someone to accept him, stilettos and all. His date is graphic designer and fellow Italian Mario. As the couple bond over their shared Italian backgrounds and Paolo's interest in Buddhism, Paolo summons up the courage to reveal his high-heeled alter ego - “a weird woman with a beard and wig”- but could this be the Manolo Blahnik that breaks the camel's back?

Following a divorce, 40-year-old single mum Claire has devoted her life to raising her two children. She’s looking for her soulmate, but is too shy to believe any man would want her. Her partner for the night is Jordanian-born care worker Fadi. A fellow-divorcé, and devoted dad, this is Fadi’s first date since his separation. In the wise words of Fred - “We all get hurt by love – all of us. But we should always be prepared to let love in."

Episode 2 - Friday 22 January, 10pm, Channel 4

First into the restaurant is eternal singleton Nicole. She’s determined to shake things up in 2016 and not go down the same path as another well-known lonely heart - ‘Some of my friends call me Bridget Jones which is a bit unfair. Like, I don’t wear big pants all the time or have ice cream for dinner’. Nicole’s been matched with chartered surveyor, Gary, a man who “knows his bricks”. On the surface of it Gary is no Mr Darcy, but he assures Nicole that this doesn’t make him boring - as he instructs her on the number of bricks that make up the restaurant. With Nicole’s interest wavering, Gary’s forced to bring out the big guns – he’s a karaoke maestro with a fine line in hip swivelling songs - 'I’ve been called the English version of Ricky Martin, so that can't be a bad thing'… Or can it?

Hold onto your hats for the meeting of two of the naughtiest minds ever to have graced the First Dates restaurant. Bella, a former boarding school girl, arrives for her date in a figure hugging latex dress - 'I am definitely the black sheep of my family'. Having swapped her conservative upbringing for the freedom of the fetish world, Bella is looking for a like-minded chap who shares her proclivities. In walks Bertie, a Harrow boy, heralding from the same cloistered world as Bella - 'there is a full scale bronze statue of me in my mum’s house'. A raucous romance from the off, by the end of the night there’s been a little light spanking and some rather risqué flirting - and that’s just with barman Merlin!

Dating websites are rammed full of career-minded, successful women who can't find Mr Right, and 43 year old divorcée Jo is one of them. She’s a hit with younger men - 'one guy I was dating came back from Ibiza and brought me a penis shaped bottle opener and a tab of ecstasy' - but this cougar wants a real man she can settle down with. She’s been matched with Richard Gere lookalike and fellow divorcé Gus, a 47 year old carpenter with enormous hands. It’s pretty clear Jo’s been matched with the man of her dreams, the only question remains - does age appropriate Gus feel the same way?

For flamboyant Paulo, a Catholic boy from small town Italy, navigating his way through the pitfalls of gay dating has not been easy; and that’s not only because he likes wearing 11 inch heels while out doing the shopping. ‘I couldn’t be myself in Italy, I was too camp, too hairy” He’s looking for someone to accept him stilettos and all. His date is unlucky in love hotel receptionist Daniel - ‘Any people that I’ve loved in life have just disappeared and I guess that’s what I’m most afraid of again’. As the two bond over sequinned jackets, Ru Paul and being thirty and fabulous, Paolo drops the “heel bomb”. Daniel may consider himself open-minded but it’s fairly clear this sartorial revelation isn’t quite what he was expecting.

Also arriving in the restaurant this week, 6 foot 4 bearded Yorkshireman Liam hopes to put the right foot forward with podiatrist Coryn.

Episode 1 - Friday 15 January, 10pm, Channel 4

Dabbers at the ready, there’s a bingo pro in the house - in the form of 29-year-old lawyer Arunima. Her other passion is animals “I just think they’re going to talk to me at any minute”. So it’s fortunate she’s been matched with veterinary surgeon Simon. Arunima’s been in a wheelchair since a childhood illness, and is worried Simon won’t be able to see past her disability. These concerns are soon allayed - eclipsed even, by his inability to grasp the correct use of Bingo lingo. Eyes down for a full house everybody…

Retired bookmaker David’s days at the races may be over but this thoroughbred isn’t putting himself out to pasture just yet “I’m a bit of a chancer and some women find that exciting”. He’s given himself the rather long odds of “500 to 1” at finding romance, but if anyone’s going to see him over the finishing line it’s retired factory girl Margaret. As the pair share wartime stories of how they grew up during The Blitz, this is a two horse race that’s definitely worth having a punt on.

Nursery worker Darcy may be well versed in ‘happily ever after’ fairy tales, but she’s still looking for her knight in shining armour - “I don’t know where he is but I hope he comes to me soon!”. Step up 29-year-old Aaron. What this television aerial erector lacks in ‘shining armour’, he more than makes up for with his gift of the gab - but will he find a good reception for his cheeky one liners or will Darcy simply switch off? Tune in to find out.

23-year-old customer service assistant Sasha has fears for her future - “I think I’ll be living alone with 27 cats”. It’s not that she hasn’t tried to find Mr Right, more that she thinks men see her as a plaything. Tasked with preventing Sasha’s spinsterhood is 23-year-old rapper and part-time model Aaron. Although these two are relatively young they’ve led full lives and lend a sympathetic ear to the other’s heartache. A feel-good date that will restore our faith in love.

Also in the restaurant this week, Londoners Suzie and Gareth, both 34, hope to find that certain spark.

Series 4

The tables are set and the drinks are on ice as the First Dates restaurant prepares to welcome a new batch of single people looking for romance. The unique restaurant in which every diner is on a real blind date is throwing open its doors once more.

A record 16,000 applicants from around the UK have come forward since the last series, many of whom have turned their backs on online dating, in the hope of meeting someone special face-to-face. The hopeful daters have been paired by First Dates’ team of matchmakers based on their likes and dislikes, and will meet their potential love match for the very first time in the restaurant.

This series will bring more dates, more flirting, more laughter and potentially more successes than ever before. Returning to ensure the restaurant is ready for affection to bloom is charismatic maître d’ Fred and his team, including barman Merlin and waitress CiCi.

For some pairings, it’ll be their first and last date. For others, with a bit of charm, it might just be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. What happens next is up to them, but at the end of each meal they’ll be asked the big question: ‘Will you see each other again?’

First Dates: The Proposal - Thursday 17 December, 9pm, Channel 4

Christmas arrives at the First Dates Restaurant as Maitre d’ Fred and his team host a special festive party to celebrate the love that blossomed this year, with a host of familiar faces. We welcome back couples who found love the first time around, as well as three much loved daters who weren’t quite so lucky.

Bearded supermarket worker Luke is hoping its third time lucky as he arrives for his date with 18-year-old nursery worker Hannah. Complete with a suave Christmas makeover (goodbye bushy beard, hello sophistication!) Luke’s determined to get the girl this time. Always ‘friend zoned’ for treating girls like one of the lads, our reformed romantic is pulling out all the stops... However, a rather festive bit of flirting threatens to undo all his good work. Will Luke finally get the girl?

Loveable dating novice and theology student Louisa returns ready to ‘slay the males’, but her date will need to be someone who can accept her rather unique take on life. She’s in luck as her date, part-time magician, Will prefers a girl who walks to the beat of her own drum.

Our final single returner is hunky fireman Paul, who’s determined not to be left alone under the mistletoe. He has a surprise in store, though, when he realises he’s already been matched with his date Lauren once before… on Tinder.

Plus, for the first time ever, the restaurant welcomes back some of our most successful First Dates pairings for a catch-up with Fred. Some of the finest love stories the restaurant has ever seen – we find out what happened next as couples Victoria & Scott, Sian & Nick, Billy & Sandra, Adam & Dan and Naomi and Jo return to the place where it all began.

As they all raise a toast to love, one returning suitor surprises their partner by getting down on one knee. One thing is certain… in the First Dates Restaurant, this is a Christmas one couple will never forget!

Episode 15 - Thursday 10 December, 10pm, Channel 4

Tonight, the First Dates restaurant does something it’s never done before. With her confidence already having been knocked after dating a series of love rats, 25-year-old Sasha is devastated when her blind date fails to arrive. However, she finds a rather unexpected knight in shining armour waiting in the wings. Ever the gent, the restaurant’s waiter Sam steps in to comfort her. Sensing an immediate spark, Fred sets the wheels of romance in motion with a candlelit dinner in the shadow of St Pauls. As surprising as it is romantic, their date is clear proof that Cupid strikes when you least expect it. He may even be wearing an apron!

The love explosion doesn’t end there as the restaurant play host to one of the finest romances it has ever seen, when 28 year old executive PA Victoria meets 38 year old sales manager Scott. Following the break-up of an 8-year relationship, Scott’s looking for someone to mend his broken heart and Victoria may just be the woman for the job. Affected by OCD (she has a thing for the numbers 2, 5, 7 and 9), she worries that men might be put off by some of her more leftfield quirks. For Scott, though, it’s very clear that in this love match, the numbers all add up.

55-year-old A&E receptionist Debbie has been married twice before, but third time round she’s looking for something different - a lady. Having spent her life with the ‘wrong sex’, she now finds herself “in the infancy of lesbianism”. Keen to show her the ropes is 59 year old divorced security guard Ann, who comes armed with an ice breaker to put Debbie at ease – a broken stick of rock. As the two bond over a mutual lusting for Orange Is the New Black's Ruby Rose, their date is a heart-warming reminder that it’s never too late to find love.

City boy Joel may have a penchant for the finer things in life (caviar and croquet to name but two) but he’s yet to find a lady of suitable breeding to take home to his parents. That is until harpist Rachel walks through the door (“I’m posh, but I’d say I’m more eccentric posh”). Having spent her childhood brushing shoulders with the likes of Princess Eugenie, she’s after an old-fashioned gent like her granddad. Having been single her whole life, her date will need more than just a silver spoon in his mouth if he’s going to woo her. He’ll need a heart of gold.

Episode 14 - Thursday 3 December, 10pm, Channel 4

Educated in an all-girls boarding school, eccentric theology student Louisa feels that she is lacking the ability to “flirt with the males” even asking barman Merlin if curtseying is “a thing” ahead of meeting her blind date. Having been bullied in the past for “not fitting onto the groove”, Louisa has learnt to embrace her quirks and is looking for a man to love her as she is.

Her blind date for the evening is supermarket worker Will, who compares dating to throwing one thousand darts at a dartboard in the hope of hitting the bullseye. He was once “the token fat child” but has grown in confidence since losing weight and is now ready to share his life with someone.

Legal secretary, Anna from Croydon is no stranger to the First Dates restaurant. On her first visit she failed to make it to the dinner table, choosing instead to remain at the bar drinking tequila shots and ‘cutting shapes’. Matched with one of Birmingham’s premier male strippers, and about to celebrate her 31st birthday, excitable Anna has a different type of dance in mind for her date Junior, and she’s not shy of letting the entire restaurant know about it.

Locksmith Roberto is proud of his Italian roots and considers his international flavour to be a hit with the ladies. But when matched with Croatian born private nanny Aleksandra, his poor knowledge of European countries leaves him in danger of being put on the naughty step and a disagreement over the word ‘nazdravlje’ – the Croatian expression for ‘cheers’ - leaves them both struggling to speak the language of love.

23-year-old Louise dreams of running her own chain of tearooms and wants to find a man who can match her ambition. Enter Joey Essex look-a-like Cameron who thinks he’s got what it takes to become the next Richard Branson. Already dressed in colour coordinated outfits, Cameron and Louise look like the perfect match, but having both been hurt in love and with their defences up, could their date be doomed to failure?

Also in the restaurant this week, science teacher Amy has decided she’s done with dating apps and hope there’ll be chemistry when she meets indie bassist Sam.

Episode 13 - Thursday 26 November, 10pm, Channel 4

Female to male transsexual Charlie is hoping to use his Irish charm to win the affections of 22 year old Charlotte. She’s relatively new to this dating malarkey but confesses to having no ‘gender boundaries’. As Charlie reveals he used to be a girl, Charlotte is left (uncharacteristically) speechless. But as the dust settles, what follows is a life affirming lesson to never to judge a book by its cover.

82 year old Billy has got his work cut out trying to tame divorced aromatherapist Sandra – “I’m out there living life, doing all the things I shouldn’t be” - but if anyone can, it’s this retired market trader. Bonding over a plate of mussels they share a mutual appreciation for cockney rhyming slang. Billy can’t believe his “mince pies” (eyes) when Sandra shows of her “scotch eggs” (legs) before an impromptu dance with the restaurant staff sees her shaking her “Khyber Pass” (no translation needed).

The air is thick with the scent of cheap perfume as the restaurant welcomes serial dater Lynn, who with 70 first dates to her name, isn’t “wasting no good stuff anymore.” Let’s hope this doesn’t put off single parent Jake - a self-confessed “true gentleman and part of a dying breed”. He’s definitely a step up on Lynn’s previous dates (a few rats, toads, and one gent who was a dead ringer for Norris Cole from Corrie). By the end of their meal Jake is besotted - suggesting to Lynne that this could be her last ever first date. Is it finally time for Lynn to break out the expensive smellies once again? Let’s hope so.

It's fortunate the First Dates restaurant has a strict ‘no animals’ rule because 21 year old private nanny Georgia could probably talk the hind legs off a donkey. Hoping to survive the evening with his legs attached is her date, 20 year old Rhys. What follows is a veritable smorgasbord of one way conversation topics ranging from Georgia’s schooling, Georgia’s dinner preferences, Georgia’s holidays and Georgia’s phobia of fish (both dead and alive). If she’s not careful this one way conversation street could soon lead to a dating dead end.

Episode 10 - Thursday 5 November, 10pm, Channel 4

Notebooks at the ready as property surveyor Cameron offers a dating master class. He just can’t get enough of the opposite sex. However with his date Louisa being a “late starter with boys” will his hard work pay off?

Former stripper Adam is bored of the single life, and is delighted upon meeting his blind date; gorgeous Geordie Dan. Bonding over Kir Royales the couple share ‘coming out’ stories and a mutual appreciation of Kylie Minogue. But when the burning question of compatibility is broached is this game over for their burgeoning romance? The couple are determined to get to the “bottom” (and the “top”) of this rather risqué matter.

If music be the food of love, ukulele strumming songbird Iona has been hitting all the bum notes. Can snake hips Salsa supremo Laurence be the one to make her heart sing? Both have tried every type of matchmaking known to man, but will they have any luck doing things the old-fashioned way?

The restaurant also welcomes two ‘unlucky in love’-ers for another shot at romance. “Decent” lad Luke and self-confessed nerd, Lachlan are back and attempting to woo their new dates Shannon and Becca. Will love blossom for these luckless lads? With conversation ranging from an avid love of WWE wrestling to how to survive a zombie apocalypse it certainly has fertile ground.

Episode 12 - Thursday 19 November, 10pm, Channel 4

The British public may be famed for our stiff upper lips, but that’s put to the test this week when divorcees Shirlie and Dave get up close and personal. Latex loving Scouser Shirlie has some sexual quirks and isn’t afraid who knows them. “I’ve been approached by men who want to wear my panties and men who want to clean my house - which is a win, win really!” As Dave picks his tongue back off the table, it’s clear these fifty somethings are feeling frisky.

It’s a meeting of minds for young lovers Richard and Freya as they bond over a shared love of musical theatre (20 year old Oxford graduate Richard is the proud scribe of his own creation - “UKIP: The Musical”). But all the musicals in the world haven’t prepared Freya for the song and dance coming her way as inexperienced virgin Richard summons up the courage to reveal a rather surprising truth to his shocked date.

33 year old mother of two and yoga teacher Abi says she is “every guys’ worst nightmare”. Barriers well and truly up after a painful divorce, she’s looking for “a yogic James Bond”. Enter all round nice guy Mark. From the off Abi’s disappointed, chipping away at her policeman paramour in what quickly becomes “the date from hell”. But as Mark begins to fight back – it soon becomes clear there’s a fine line between love and hate (especially if you end up smearing salted caramel fondue all over each other in the middle of a packed restaurant). As love-guru Fred points out, “Sometimes we don’t realise that what’s in front of us is what we really need."

Episode 11 - Thursday 12 November, 10pm, Channel 4

Nanny Jo always knew she was bisexual – looking at her brothers’ Pamela Anderson posters as a kid she thought - “she’s probably a bit more interesting than she should be.” Having only ever dated men she’s hoping a visit to the First Dates restaurant will change all that, as she embarks on her first ever date with a woman. Taking the honours is four foot seven personal trainer Naomi. As the couple bond over their desire to start a family it’s quickly apparent that good things come in small packages.

Dean’s grandparents have always wanted him to find a nice Indian wife. Still single at 29, however, the search criteria has been thrown wide open – with them happy for him to bring "any girl” home. With dreams of dating a lady “kissed by fire (aka gingers)” his fantasy is about to become reality as he meets flame haired estate agent, Kate. Once voted the ugliest girl in her year, she’s after a man to appreciate the swan she’s become.

His last date with single dad Patrick may have ended in heart break, but 49 year old Thomas is hopeful that tonight’s date with sexual health nurse Colin will be the answer to his prayers. As the couple bond over the travails of gay dating the conversation quickly becomes more personal. Thomas talks about losing the love of his life to AIDS and his consequential diagnosis of HIV. With love on the cards, this date is a heart-felt exploration of dating when fabulous and almost fifty.

For the last four years, 34 year old Geordie singleton Joanna has only had one bedfellow in her life; her 17 year old cat Felix. Continuously friend-zoned by men for her lack of ladylike poise - her date, single dad Glen, is keen to teach her about the finer things in life… the difference between ‘mushy’ and ‘minted’ peas for example. But with Joanna’s dinner table conversation ranging from how Guinness makes her fart, to her dislike of children… this ‘ladette’ isn’t about to become a lady any time soon.

Episode 9 - Thursday 29 October, 10pm, Channel 4

Last week Cupid was left tapping his foot when Geordie Georgia was stood up. After sparking a conversation over consolatory drinks with nice guy Alex, the pair reunited. Not since Gwyneth Paltrow in sliding doors has anyone uttered the words "what if" more than in tonight's serendipitous date with destiny.

Charming cake creator Chloe prides herself on being a good “judge of character” which is just as well because her date Ben, a keen am–dram enthusiast, has played many roles in his time. But when Ben introduces Chloe to one of his closest female acquaintances will she threaten to ‘drag’ their date past the point of no return.

Fifties fashionista Amy isn’t asking for much “someone a bit grown up, a bit nice, a bit gentlemanly cheers ta” but can swinging sixties fan Robert (AKA ‘Rob the Mod’) fit the bill? He’s hoping things will go so well she’ll accompany him to Northern Soul night after their meal, although he might have second thoughts once he’s seen what's tattooed on her toe.

The topic of family life is high on the agenda for two other dates in the restaurant as make-up artist and mum Verona feels the heat with firefighter Paul, while 49-year-old dad of one Patrick meets German-born Thomas, aged 48.

Episode 8 - Thursday 22 October, 10pm, Channel 4

The First Dates restaurant opens its doors again tonight to hopeful singletons from all over the country. Maître d’ Fred and his team are on hand to help fan the flames of romance.

Returning for another shot at love is Hugo. He may have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he’s yet to strike gold on a date. Taking centre stage for his encore performance is trainee opera singer Olympia. She ticks all the boxes (and can sing a mean aria to boot), but will her date with Hugo hit enough high notes to win him over?

Supermarket worker Jacqui is looking to bag the right man. But at 56, this ex-Playboy bunny hasn’t given up the ghost quite yet. She wants to look at a man and think, “I wanna rip your clothes off!”. She’s in luck, because her date Ricky, isn’t shy about laying himself bare - he used to be a stripper in Blackpool. After a life-changing cancer scare, Ricky has a thirst for adventure and wants a lady to go shark diving with… but is Jacqui ready to take the plunge?

Model Georgia always attracts the wrong kind of guy. Told by an ex that she’s only good for one night stands… this Geordie stunner is hoping to find a “genuine guy” who’ll give her “tummy flutters”. Cupid is left tapping his foot however as she waits at the bar - her date is very late. So when hunky banker Alex arrives for his date the two get chatting and there’s a definite chemistry. But the course of true love never did run smooth, as Fred whisks Alex of to a table to meet his awaiting blind date, Heather. With Georgia's date nowhere to be seen and glances exchanged across the restaurant, things could get complicated this evening.

Also in the restaurant this week, keen knitter and Valleys girl Anna finds a Welsh connection with sensitive soul Steven from Wrexham, who’s hoping for a girl who’ll get along with the most important lady in his life – his nan.

Episode 7 - Thursday 15 October, 10pm, Channel 4

Maître d’ Fred and his team open the doors of the First Dates restaurant to another assortment of enthusiastic singletons all looking for love.

Cupid is seeing double this week as twins Francesca and Claudia visit the restaurant - each looking for their “Prince Charming”. Unaware of the possible double trouble ahead are their dates, former boarding school pupil Hugo and rapper Marcus. Oxford educated Francesca may be smitten by Hugo’s upper class ways, but her sister Claudia’s been hurt one too many times and her guard is well and truly up. Her date Marcus has his work cut out if he’s going to win her heart.

Checking back into the First Dates restaurant for another shot at love is Manchester’s self-confessed ‘player’ Geo, who is upping his game. Armed with a bigger bouquet, more jokes and a brand new ‘not to be missed’ party trick, he’s hoping it’ll be a case of second time lucky. His date, Charlotte might have other ideas however. She’s about to embark on a forensic psychology degree, and could be the one to see past Geo’s bravado.

Firefighter Marc is used to feeling the heat but tonight he’s looking for a different kind of fire – “Someone who’s bubbly and happy and smiley and gives you that feeling - that Grrr.” Answering his emergency call is Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, Elle. They say Some Like it Hot but is Elle too hot for Marc to handle? As they come to blows over the age-old question, should a man pay the bill, will it be a case of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes…or The Misfits?

Maths teacher and human calculator Ian is looking for someone to solve his love conundrum – “I’m quite clever but a little bit awkward in social situations”. He’s hoping radiographer Rachel will become his star pupil, but will she be impressed by his number crunching, ‘dad’ dancing, and appreciation of Aurora Borealis?

Episode 6 - Celebrity Special for SU2C - Monday 12 October, 9pm, Channel 4

The First Dates restaurant opens its doors for a special in aid of Stand Up to Cancer. Maître d’ Fred and his team welcome hopeful single people from across the country and, for one night only, some familiar faces from the world of show business who are also looking for love.

At the unique restaurant in which every diner is on a real blind date, some of this week’s daters will discover that they’ve been matched with a celebrity singleton also looking to potentially meet ‘The One’.

Swiss-born neuroscience student Sophie (20), who’s looking for an outgoing guy who likes to travel, meets Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing. 31-year-old personal trainer Craig, who usually goes for petite blondes, finds his luck is in with his blind date, Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter. Part-time model Louis (28) finds himself sharing a meal with chart-topping singer Alexandra Burke. While silver fox Jeremy makes a return visit to the restaurant unaware that he’s about to date broadcasting legend Anthea Turner.

The restaurant also welcomes two returning daters from last series who still find themselves single. On her first visit, Anna from Croydon ditched dinner in exchange for drinks and dancing, pulling some memorable shapes at the bar. Still single and looking for someone special, Anna’s back! Also returning is 54-year-old hairdresser and model Gary, hoping to meet a man with va-va-voom.

Episode 5 - Thursday 8 October, 10pm, Channel 4

The First Dates restaurant welcomes hopeful singletons from across the country. On hand to oil the wheels of romance are Maître-d Fred and his team.

Part-time nanny, part-time weightlifter Lucy, is looking to take home gold tonight. Her luck may be in when charity administrator Caroline arrives. Caroline’s confession that she “may not play things cool when it comes to dating” is immediately put to the test when Lucy accidentally rips her top in front of a packed restaurant. After a quick intervention from knight in shining armour Fred, the date is back on track and the chemistry begins to build. As the date reaches its climax, Caroline leans in for a kiss… Will Lucy take the plunge?

Unlucky in love and struggling to find a date, self-confessed nerd Lachlan is hoping tonight’s his lucky night. He craves a girl who will “accept me for the nerd I am”. He could be in luck as he’s been matched with Rachel: a striking redhead, a psychologist and an avid Star Wars fan. As the couple grapple with the all-important question – what’s the best-to-worst order of Star Wars movies – Lachlan’s dating life could have A New Hope tonight.

Art gallery administrator Grace (28) has been single for 8 years. She’s waiting to meet the love of her life. Her match is Nigerian support worker Chuks. Born with short arms, Chuks moved to Britain to move on, not only from the stigma of disability, but also from a broken heart. Grace could be the one that can mend it.

Also hoping to find romance this week Alistair, at 5 ft. 7, admits to being reluctant to reveal his height on dating profiles but might be standing taller when he meets magazine editor Emily , who’s been looking to settle down with a family man. Elsewhere 6 ft. 4 Ross enjoys a flirt, but can he be tamed by Marc, who’s seeking a stable romance?

Episode 4 - Thursday 1 October, 10pm, Channel 4

Maître d’ Fred and his team open the doors of the First Dates restaurant to another assortment of enthusiastic singletons all looking for love.

Manchester based self-confessed “player” Geo is pulling out all the stops to find a girl he can have a steady relationship with - “I just need a girl to calm me down.” Will bringing a bunch of flowers and ordering champagne be enough to impress his date, 19-year-old Heather? She loves a northern accent so Geo’s got a head start, but are things about to go south once she’s heard his favourite joke - “What do you call a teacher who’s always late…”?

Squeezing his restaurant visit into “a very busy work schedule”, finance broker and silver fox Jeremy is about to be caught in the crosshairs of clay pigeon enthusiast (and shotgun owner) Emma. Good looking and full of confidence, Emma should have no problems holding Jeremy’s attention – but she faces stiff competition, in the form of Jeremy’s work phone.

Known in his military days as “Suave Harv”, 82-year-old Harvey isn’t letting his age get in the way of dating – “I’m not ready to give up on love or life or anything.” Will he be able to keep his nerves in check long enough to win the heart of his match, lifelong singleton Dinah? This date has the makings of a delightful stroll through love, life, and losses with some serenading thrown in for good measure.

Also in the restaurant this week, flight attendant Sian hopes to take to the skies with rom-com fan Nick, and South London supermarket worker Luke is checking out budding actress and stand-up Nicky.

Episode 3 - Thursday 24 September, 10pm, Channel 4

The First Dates restaurant welcomes another set of singletons hoping to find romance on a blind date.

27-year-old Rebecca normally "researches" her dates before the big event, scouring Facebook and Instagram accounts of prospective boyfriends. However, with no sneak peeks in the First Dates restaurant, what will she make of tree surgeon David when meeting for the first time? No subject is off the table on this date: from David’s teen kisses to Rebecca's bipolar condition.

Irish-born DJ Gordon already has two kids with lesbian friends, but is still seeking a man to share his life with. He meets kickboxing instructor Stephen, who is desperate to settle down and start a family. On paper, they are well suited, but as the date descends into awkward small talk, Gordon has to enlist waitress Cici to liven up the date. Will this ménage-a-trois lead to date numéro deux?

21-year-old Zoe is outwardly cool and calm, but memories of childhood bullies have knocked her confidence. Former ballroom dancer David, who describes himself as “The Don of the ‘Friendzone’”, is prepared to sweep Zoe off her feet. Will she succumb to her demons, or take David's hand for the dance of a lifetime?

Also in the restaurant this week, Paul and Samantha both share a dry wit, but can they be serious for long enough to say whether they fancy each other? While fitness fanatic Ben, who had an awkward meal last series, returns to meet keen amateur baker Holly, who helps him confront his fear of carbs.

Episode 2 - Thursday 17 September, 10pm, Channel 4

Tonight in the First Dates restaurant, we meet singletons from all over the UK, and one gent from overseas.

Texan-born Aaron moved to London for work 10 months ago and is still figuring out how to charm British women. His blind date Sophie claims to have perfected the art of enticing a man with a well-practiced stare; a technique few are able to resist. As cocktails lead to dinner, the two connect over life, love and family.

Aspiring politician Louis returns hoping it will be second time lucky. He meets 23-year-old nanny Lydia, with whom he shares an appreciation of all things Russian. With a newfound confidence, Louis could be becoming a changed man.

Also back for a second chance is Disney fan Kathleen. Last series, she was hoping to meet a prince charming. This time round she meets Michael, whose philosophy is “don’t go for the prince, go for the pauper”. Might he prove that Kathleen has been looking in all the wrong places all along?

39-year-old Laura’s usual type is men who ‘walk like a Neanderthal with arched eyebrows’. Now she seeks a man who will look after her and knows how to make a proper cup of tea. Her date Matt just wants someone nice and normal. Conversation traverses exciting culinary territory - from the merits of cheesy maize snacks, to a love of multi-pack crisps - but when Laura discovers her suitor doesn’t own a car, this date threatens to come to a screeching halt.

Meanwhile, London’s Carrie Bradshaw, part-time dating writer Lauren hopes to meet her Mr Big. What will her blind date Keith make of her vocation?

Episode 1 - Thursday 10 September, 10pm, Channel 4

First through the doors is Anna, who has a lengthy list of what she wants from her perfect man. However, Mr Right is proving elusive, with her grandma filling the role of plus one at family weddings. She meets her date Liam, who likens dating to hunting a gazelle. From Liam's choice of wine to disclosing a habit of naked sunbed dancing, he might have his work cut out passing Anna’s list.

Linguist Louis is struggling to learn the language of love. His shyness finds him struggling with talking to girls. "You're unable to even initiate a conversation. I feel like I'm not good enough". His date is 26-year-old Adela who's looking for an archetypal English gent. On paper, Louis doesn't disappoint, but within seconds of meeting her his nerves take hold. As silence descends on the table, will Louis find the words to show Adela he is worthy of a second date?

Baby-faced supermarket worker Josh has all the chat up lines, but no girlfriend. "Somebody's got to be out there, but knowing me they've been hit by a bus". His date, "crazy cat lady" Soraya, is sick of being used by men. Both shy and inexperienced in the world of dating, they're determined to give it a go. But, with neither sure how the other one feels, there's a very real chance they may let the chance of love slip away.

Also meeting on a blind date this week are ‘spiritual’ barmaid Amber and beardy writer Louis, who’s ready with his calculator when the bill arrives; plus Michael meets adult dancer Karina and share their experiences of parenthood.

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28 Apr 2018, 02:25
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