What happened to First Dates

What happened to First Dates?

Now as most of you know I’m a fan of dating TV and have a particularly soft spot for Channel 4 ones as they go beyond British dating but, can anyone tell me what’s gone wrong with Fred’s team please? What on earth happened to First Dates? I used to love this show but with all the changes it has fallen short of late. Anyone else?

Who fired Austin?

There used to be a different team of serving staff. Now we are left with Fred, the maitre d; who has become more of a bouncer / enforcer, Cici the blonde waitress and Merlin the mixologist. Great. But what happened to Ginger haired dude who used to have a bit of a flirty thing with Cici. And the other blonde waitress Laura? Now we have a blonde one who looks like a cross between Leona Lewis and Stacey Solomon. And we are missing Austin!

I dunno, it just feels like they’re all a bit bored with their jobs now and we are missing the funny that Laura, Sam and Austin brought to the team. Poor Merlin is being asked to relationship delve and we just want him to stick to bar tricks please!


And then they moved the venue from Paternoster Square in London to somewhere in Manchester. I’m guessing this is a financial decision but the layout doesn’t work as well. This venue is longer with a bigger bar. And those chairs don’t look as comfy. The food does look a little better I guess and maybe it’s more affordable. I’m trying here.  

Who fired the matchmakers?

OK so one of the strongest elements of the First Dates format is that they actually found people who were compatible and likely to stay together. We’ve had weddings and babies. Now the number of those that are making it is minimal because the matchmakers aren’t matching right.  Can we rehire the old matchmakers please? It’s so important that the matching is brought back to the heart (no pun) of the show. Most of us can tell within minutes that it’s going to be a no from one of the pair. And maybe we should stop bringing on those with little to no dating experience who are also extremely nervous. It makes for pity TV.  

How small is the violin?

Jeez, so we have to hear about the deaths, illnesses and traumas of everyone that goes in there. Why can’t they just stick to first date etiquette and keep it light and breezy. Yes it’s sad that someone has experienced what they have but it’s lazy matchmaking to match a pair on their traumas and not on their values or relationship ambitions. We want to see chemistry and laughter not sympathy because they both lost a parent in the last 5 years and are still grieving the loss,

And now things are ending before they began!

So I’m not sure why we are getting updates only a few weeks later but few of them have actually had time for the second or third date. Bad enough so many of them are only seeming to last until the end of the night. We need an update months later like we used to get so that we can believe in the power of the format once more.

TV shows need to evolve and try what they can to stay fresh but, First Dates isn’t hitting the mark on this one. They’ve even reduced their season runs to less than 10 shows. Someone, please, fix it.

Happy Dating

© Chelsea Black® 2022

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