Some of you may have thought you'd seen me on TV recently. The show was not exactly what I had signed up for but it was clear ITV were going to film the event for a show which may or may not get commisioned. Anyway the event was a speed dating event…. Before I go on, I feel the need to explain the reasons why I was there. So since my marriage broke-down I've been single and I was getting use to be single again. One of the off sets of this was that I had always wondered what it was like to speed date? I had never tried it and wondered if I would be any good at it. Some of you may say, oh Ian – this is very sad or maybe Ian this is too soon after a break up, but you know what I've moved on and i'm not going to sit at home all sad thinking about how things use to be. There may also be an aspect of sadness to speed dating but what better way to meet a load of people who you would never usually meet in one evening?
So being newly single, I decided to give it a try when I saw a advert for a cheap speed dating event in Clerkenwell on a Thursday night in September. The event was 5 pounds instead of the usual 20 plus pounds and all drinks would be free on the evening. The only deal is that we would be filmed, which didn't bother me so much.
Now assuming you watched the programme, you will remember at the first speed dating event the woman (Janice 30 or table 13 – geez should have known by the number) who was talking about plane tickets to america. Well I did give her a yes tick as she was good to talk to, plus she was my very first table. She also gave me a tick, which means that we should have hooked up later sometime but it never did happen. And now I know why. I did at the time think there was something strange about Janice because she was quite talkative before we hit the tables. This also applied to the 2nd guy plant. He was strange, I was following him in the table order and he would carry on pass the bell and a lot of the women I would talk to afterwards would mention the cheesy as hell chat up lines he would use. Now it all makes sense. What was weird was that some of the women thought me and the guy plant were friends because we entered the venue at the same time and we chatted for a while before. Even then he seemed to be very very up for the whole thing.
Moving beyond the programme, I did end up going for food with 2 Australian women (who were friends – melissa 32 and
rachel 28) after the speed dating. They were the most normal people in the room and we kind of gravitated towards each other. Everyone else was super dressed up or as I now know, a plant. Us 3 looked like we worked in normal jobs and just came from there. Anyway we got talking about different people who we ticked and didn't tick. Australian woman 1 (who is wearing a light green top in the filming) talked about the teacher guy (guy plant 2) and how he bored the life out of her. I mentioned Janice 30 but my big story was table 5 (shes on film, shes mixed race, black dress, long curly hair, stylish black glasses and little red bow around her neck). She asked me where I work and I was honest and said the BBC. She then she said quote
Oh I heard the BBC don't pay a lot of money. Taken a back by this comment, I quickly replied well it depends if you let money decide what you do in life?! As you can imagine the next 2mins 40secs were pretty thorny. There was another woman, who I think was there simply to shag someone that night. I can't remember what table she was and shes not directly in the focus of the camera during the documentary, but she was very much up for going out that same night and something she said made it clear, going out and sex was all she was thinking about.
So would I do the whole thing again? Actually I would, it was pretty fun and enjoyable. I could imagine it being hell if your not talkative or enjoy meeting strangers but I'm pretty relaxed about this stuff. Anyway, hope the pop science experiment was good fun for people watching. I think I pop up 4 times during the segment. Here's a review which I found amusing about the whole programme (sorry no permalink).
It was just a jumbled piece of amateurish TV full of primary school experiments that proved nothing to nobody. Even Bravo would have been embarrassed to schedule this anywhere other than the very small hours, but this was 10pm on ITV1! 10pm! A prime time slot on a network station! How did this happen? Unbelievable. Shocking. Why aren't people fired for commissioning crap like this? What are you doing, Michael Grade?