Fred Sirieix

First Dates is back after a few weeks’ hiatus due to the Paralympics. And tonight it was all about the unicorns.

Charlie and Lorna

Charlie and Lorna from First Dates Series 7 Episode 5

Yes, unicorns cropped up quite a lot thanks to 25-year-old businessman Charlie from Wandsworth. A bit of a metrosexual, he’s a fan of the colour pink, he’s a vegetarian, and he’s after a unicorn as a date. Said to be “rare and precious animals” that’s what he’s looking for in human date form (don’t check this out on Urban Dictionary – it means something else). He’s even got a graph to prove there’s a method to his madness.

So hoping to be just the unicorn Charlie’s looking for is 28-year-old PR “whiz” (I hate terms like that) Lorna from Camden. She’s been single for three years and, while good at establishing relationships for work, has been unable to establish one with the right man.

We learned lots about Charlie tonight. He originally grew up in the Middle East with camels all around him. All of his family seems to be married with kids. Much like myself, Lorna also shared his concerns at the age of 28, she was finding everyone was living together, marrying each other, or obsessing over children. Fortunately, even when they got on to the subject of children’s names during their first date neither flinched.

Lorna seemed to dig Charlie’s quirky side but was worried about whether or not he fancied her. Certainly Charlie was a fan of her infectious laugh, but gave a less-than-convincing “yeah why not, could do” in response to the researchers’ questions about whether they’d meet up again. I’m not convinced Charlie has found his unicorn, but they went on to date further…

Jordan and Aston

22-year-old bobsleigher Jordan from Loughborough was also in the First Dates restaurant. He has a bit of a perception problem, being seen as a player in more than just the sporting sense. Jordan seemed a bit contradictory in his original interview, boasting of “quite a healthy sex life” but didn’t want to be seen or used like a piece of meat. He was hoping 20-year-old Team GB kickboxer Aston from Bristol could change all of that for him.

She’s been away a lot competing and training, and has struggled to hold down relationships with her career aspirations. Aston seemed like a classy girl, even turning down the offer of wine through fear of getting too tipsy.

Jordan’s texts revealed there was clear attraction towards Aston. She was said to be “banging” with a “class booty”. He may not have wanted to be seen as a piece of meat, but from those messages alone he was struggling to practice what he preached.

Sadly, despite the flirting and an obvious attraction from Jordan, Aston wasn’t finding the spark she was looking for. In the ultimate friendzoning, she suggested they could be Facebook friends, something I believe that has now happened.

Jordan and Aston from First Dates Series 7 Episode 5

Natalie and Harry

Also on tonight’s episode was 6’2 burlesque performer Natalie from London, who has some issues with finding dates tall enough. She seemed to have turned up as Maleficent for her pre-date interview.

As it transpires, she’s also been a contestant on dating show Take Me Out, hoping her fortunes could be changed on another show. Unlike on Take Me Out, she was looking for a more respectable man, with a cheeky side. Someone who is tall enough to reach her bottom and give it a cheeky smack, someone who’ll throw her up against the wall and give her a “damn good snog”.

Despite the burlesque, fire eating, and showing off of nipple-tassles she’s said to get really nervous about first dates. So everyone was hoping 6’3 confidence coach Harry would be able to help her out. Like most he’s looking for someone “spectacular”, so someone who eats fire should be right up his street.

Natalie’s longest relationship was four years, until it went horribly wrong. She was told after those four years that he didn’t fancy her anymore, and it’s said to have become a bit of a wake-up call for her.  She cut her hair, she dyed it, she took up burlesque, and she lost six stone. I suspect he’ll be kicking himself if this is the first time he’s seen her since the breakup.

Despite a very charming performance by Harry, Natalie had become self-conscious by his questions. She feared she was becoming a case study through an interview, something Harry admitted can affect dates. Despite the friend-zoning by the end of the night, he was still up for watching her do some burlesque, something I imagine other viewers will be looking to do too.

Natalie and Harry from First Dates Series 7 Episode 5

Colin and Sally

Also in the doors this evening was Canterbury bachelor Colin, 52, who as looking for a strong woman with attitude. Could pub landlady, Sally from London, be his cup of tea? Dressed like a more glamorous Bet Lynch, she made an impression with her incredible red shoes.

Despite appearing being a hard nut to crack, Colin showed his softer side during the date. He’s a man after my own heart, urging Sally to get a second bottle of wine to keep the wine flowing throughout. Although in my case I think I’d regret the second bottle.

He admitted he was hard work, but a lot of this seemed to be shaped by his father’s presence during much of his life, which seemed to be a strained affair. Since the loss of his dad, Colin seemed a changed man, even admitting to having got his eyebrows done, and had a couple of facials.

While Colin seemed to become more likeable as the night went on, the wine had clearly kicked in towards the end. When he got on to the subject of fuck buddies, and naked women, the spark seemed to fade.

Colin admits no one loves him more than himself. After moving the conversation on to such subjects it seems it had ended up at the point of no return. Colin and Sally were not meant to be. At least he still has himself to love.

Sally and Colin from First Dates Series 7 Episode 5

Ellena and Harley

Finally 22-year-old Fine Art graduate Ellena from Chessington is looking for someone who can only be described as looking like Chris Brown “…who isn’t Chris Brown” (an excellent disclaimer, I might add).

She’s become very conscious of her 32 “haitch” bosom and the attention they bring, so tonight she’s hoping instead of meeting someone obsessed with her breasts, she can find a soulmate.

Her partner for the evening is 25-year-old swimming instructor Harley Hicks. Worryingly his first joke of the evening was about breast strokes, which would have fallen flat if it had been said to Ellena. Fortunately he didn’t, but the jokes didn’t improve as the night went on.

Harley and Ellena both had experienced growing up on the estates of London, which is what helped a lot of the conversation flow. The real tearjerker of the night, however, came from hearing about how Ellena’s mother had walked out on her, her dad, and her brother leaving her to play the mother role of the household.

Compassionate Harley clearly struck up the right chord with Ellena and she had decided by the end of the evening that she liked what she saw. In her eyes he did look like Chris Brown without actually being him. There was mutual attraction and the two agreed to a second date. Harley’s offer of going swimming was turned down though!

Ellena and Harley from First Dates Series 7 Episode 5

Next time on First Dates

Coming up next week in the First Dates restaurant DJ Tom from Kent is back. Read his interview with the local Kent press here.

Watch First Dates on catch-up on All4. First Dates is back next Monday evening on Channel 4. Read more reviews of this series of First Dates on my blog.

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Written by Jono Read
Jono Read is a 29 year old from North Norfolk. He is a social media manager and a digital campaigner. He blogs about politics, popular culture, and marketing.