The cast of 'Dates' talk about their own dating experiences

The stars of C4's new series from the creators of 'Skins' open up

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Greg McHugh

‘Many years ago I went on a blind date with a very short Vietnamese lady who turned out to be married. But I’ve been quite lucky, although when I was younger I went on those horribly awkward dates where no one really says anything. I’d advise watching your body language, being open and chatty, giving people a chance but not meeting anyone again if they’re awful. And don’t drink too much. I’m ticking off my own dating mistakes here…’

Oona Chaplin

‘I’ve never actually been on a date. I don’t know what that says about me. I just go [points] “Strip!”. But I did sign up for online dating as research for the show. It was the most difficult paragraph I’ve ever had to write. I got to build my own fantastical human being and had a few responses, but no one really lived up to expectations.’

Will Mellor

‘She was a dancer in a musical I was doing. I asked her out to Cafe de Paris and we both brought a friend – I’d ordered champagne, trying to impress her. I don’t even like champagne! But we were having a great time, then she went to the toilet. On her way back, she was bouncing off the walls, throwing up, all decorum lost. Her mate accused me of drugging her drink! She later explained she hadn’t eaten all day and it all hit her at once. So we went to a restaurant for the next date: we’re married now with two kids.’

Gemma Chan

‘I’ve never been on a proper date, but a girlfriend went on a blind date with a guy with a metal leg, which he hadn’t mentioned during their correspondence. He was also a bit of a dick, so she wanted to go but didn’t want him to think it was because of the leg, so she stayed for a really awkward dinner. I’d be terrified on a blind date. I’m more of a “get me drunk at a party and you might get a snog” kind of girl [laughs].’

Andrew Scott

‘I’ve been quite lucky on the dates front – I haven’t been on too many, but they’ve been pretty uneventful. Certainly a contrast to the ones on the show! Although I met my current partner through friends; we went for a drink on a sort-of date and it was pretty instant.’

Sheridan Smith

‘I went on a date with this lovely guy who’d been drinking this red cocktail. We left this bar and were walking through the night, and I thought, “This is going to be a bit romantic”. We got on the night bus and as we’re swaying about holding on to the bar, I could see him turning green. Before I knew it, I had red sick all down my dress. I don’t think I’ve had worse than that. Yet.’

‘Dates’, C4. Starts Mon June 10.

Read our reviews of 'Dates', episodes one and two

Episode one

  • Rated as: 4/5

Will Mellor and Oona Chaplin play the pauses of a first date beautifully, as the initial fireworks fizzle out into resentful silence. But then, even if we don’t exactly root for them, our interest in their fates is certainly piqued. A smart idea, cleverly executed.

See the full review

Episode two

  • Rated as: 4/5

Sometimes opposites attract. But realistically, more often than not, they absolutely don’t. This object lesson in dating misery is played out by Sheridan Smith and Neil Maskell (both excellent) as teacher Jenny and city boy Nick.

See the full review


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