First Dates Chris and Lynda

Tonight in the First Dates restaurant we had a pet shop owner, we had the cougars, we had the monkey emoji lovers, and the manure. It’s a tenuous link, but let’s say indirectly there was an animal theme running throughout.

Marie and Davin

First Dates Marie and Davin

According to Fred, the average person speaks around 100 words per minute. With 38-year-old teacher Marie, it seemed more like three hundred. She seemed to have a case of verbal diarrhea. She’s a graphics teacher and has even been known to sing songs about her subject to interest her students. Will she serenade her date tonight?

Marie’s date was maths teacher Davin, who dreamed of dating another teacher. So he was in luck with Miss Stacy, or so we thought.

Davin, like most vegans, wanted everyone to know about it. Marie on the other hand was putting off her diet for the night, and was ready to eat all of the meats, which made things a bit difficult.

But despite forgetting her date’s name, and struggling to stop talking for air at times, Marie came out with some hilarious one-liners which kept viewers entertained. Like with her mug that says “not all men are annoying, some are dead”. True story that.

While she was in the toilet she revealed she had taken a shine to Davin, but couldn’t stop long on the phone to her friend in case he thinks she was “having a poo”. This would normally feel like a case of ‘too much information’ but Marie managed to win viewers over in a very good way.

Sadly Marie feared being alone, and wasn’t having much luck tying down a long term relationship. She thought her luck had finally changed with Davin, the sort of man she’d like to take to the seaside and eat fish and chips with… or at least she would, while he had a nice vegan option instead. She graded him an A+.

Unfortunately Mr Scudamore didn’t see eye to eye with Marie, and he served up a Vegan pie for her. Although he did do the gentlemanly thing of paying for her meal.

It’s not all bad for Marie though because she’s expected back in the First Dates restaurant very soon. Hopefully with someone who is equally as hungry for meat as her.

Lynda and Chris

First Dates Chris and Lynda

Our first cougar through the doors tonight was 64-year-old Lynda, who has a thing for younger men. She likes to keep herself feeling young by trying new things like doing burlesque, rock climbing, parasailing and riding camels. She’s worked at Wembley arena, so could there be a spark with her date 65-year-old Chris who was once a roadie?

Chris has found it can be three times unlucky when it comes to marriage, and now wants to finally settle with someone like him. Unfortunately when he tried online dating he found himself being treated like an object, and lusted after, rather than loved (I know, I found it hard to believe too) so could First Dates help?

He does have some great stories under his belt though. He once set up for John Lennon at a gig. However that life seemed to be behind him nowadays, his social life seemed quieter.

Sometimes chalk and cheese goes together on First Dates, but it was clear Chris wasn’t going to be able to keep up with Lynda. Lynda drives a sports car and removes the roof on a sunny day. Chris doesn’t drive anywhere, he was more interested in making use of his free bus pass. The bus pass line wasn’t really working.

It dawned on Chris as the date came to a close that Lynda wasn’t going to be the one for him. It sounded like she struggled to find the time in her busy social life for relationships, and he wasn’t entirely convinced she was looking for someone his age anyway.

It didn’t especially help that when they agreed to go halves, Chris analysed the bill item by item before paying. That’s enough to make any woman with an expensive taste do a runner…

Tom and Jessica

Back tonight is DJ Tom from Whitstable in Kent. We last saw him get blown out for spending more time talking up the road networks in Kent than himself, and upsetting a cat lover for preferring dogs. He’s had some tips this time, and there was a rethink on the type of girl Tom should be matched up with.

Instead this time he was paired up with 24-year-old Jessica from Cheltenham. She’s an assistant pet shop owner, who is more used to loving animals than loving people, but wants that special someone. Her confidence was sadly knocked at school and college when she was bullied, and has had a low self-esteem.

Tonight, however, Tom seemed to be changing all of that. By the end of the programme it was looking promising especially as Jessica particularly enjoyed the chips she had at the First Dates restaurant, and wanted to do the same again with Tom another time.


However he explained to his local radio station he was still looking for love.

Philip and Simon

The funniest date of the night however goes to Philip and Simon. Philip, 61, from Cambridge had a “larger than life” personality. He’s a retired hairdresser and had the gift of the gab, and also an eye for First Dates’ Fred. Fortunately they’d arranged for him to meet English teacher Simon, 54, a former actor who knew lots about Cambridge to get sparks flying, and the pair charmed each other well.

Both of the men had struggled to come to terms with their sexuality in the past. Philip had even married a lady at the young age of 21 before soon realising it was a mistake. Since then Philip has enjoyed dating gay men half his age, his last was just 22. Could he be won over by someone older?

It seemed so. The pair hit it off in a big way. They actually reminded me of Statler and Waldorf off The Muppets. They bickered and teased each other, but did so in a hilarious way, like when they were talking about the “cheesy rims” you get on pizzas at certain pizza restaurants. You can guess the jokes, I don’t need to tell you them.

They both won the affection of the nation, and were heading for a second date, although we’re not sure it’s yet happened. I have my fingers crossed for them!

First Dates Philip and Simon

Tom and Jess

Finally, it’s another Tom and another Jessica in the First Dates restaurant. Social Media Executive Jess left people scratching their heads over what her job entailed (which bodes well if I ever end up of the programme) and the talk of favourite emojis, the face swapping, and the talk of updating her profile didn’t really shed much light on it either.

Nonetheless the programme went overboard to make as many social media puns as possible from the very start.

Jess has really struggled to date seriously after one of her more serious partners turned out to be engaged to someone else. She explained how she had unleashed her inner psycho by dumping manure on his front doorstep, pretty tame given the circumstances I’m sure you would agree. Nonetheless the traumatic experience had left her with her guard up.

Fortunately, financial advisor Tom seemed a decent guy, and the sort of person the audience knew suited her. He believed everything happened for a reason (even dating a guy already engaged) and was looking to replicate the love that his parents shared in his own relationship.

After swapping faces on the Faceswap app, they swapped telephone numbers. But not before drinks outside the restaurant, and a cheeky snog (or two, or three, or four). No need for a bag of manure this time.

Tom and Jess First Dates

We found out by the end of the programme that Jess and Tom had met up again. I’m hoping that the two rekindle that now the episode has been aired so Jess can finally update her Facebook relationship status.

Watch First Dates

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. And if Naked Attraction is your bag, try my interview with a contestant from Series 2.

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Written by Jono Read
Jono Read is a 30 year old writer from Norfolk. He is a social media manager and a digital campaigner. He blogs about politics, popular culture, and marketing.