Lucy and Bruno

Blind date 25 April

Already incredible scenes here in this week’s Guardian Blind Date. Bruno is a 20-year-old medical student (20! What are you doing here?!) and is wearing a Fila jumper. Are they back? Is it ironic? No idea.

He has been paired with Lucy, a 24-year-old media PA. Hmmm, a 24-year-old woman and a 20-year-old manchild having a bash at irono-fashion. What could possibly go wrong?

Read it and weep before I make myself useful with the cut and paste and look a little more closely.

lucy_first impressions

Not even a “hot ginge”, Lucy? That lairy, condescending compliment that is supposed to make anyone with red hair dissolve into paroxysms of ecstasy because you deigned to find them attractive? No. Just ginger. Oh. Bruno?

bruno_first impressions

Innit. Bruno may look like he’s just got out of detention for writing graffiti in the Year 9 bogs, but he shows wisdom beyond his years by, quite rightly, noting that there is no way on Earth he should be on a date with a 24-year-old.

Lucy is obviously very young and very pretty, but she looks like one of those magic people who could be anything between 16 and 41, depending on how their hair sits at any given time and what the light is like.

Bruno will look 14 until two days before his 38th birthday, when it will all catch up and he will turn into Chris Evans (not the Captain America version) overnight.

lucy_talk about

Sean Bean. Game Of Thrones, then, unless they were reminiscing about When Saturday Comes, his O2 ad voiceovers, or when he was married to the second Aveline from Bread – yes, my cultural references do smell slightly of mothballs, don’t they? Bruno:

bruno_talk about

Aw Bruno. Somebody throw this man a lifejacket. I know that age is relative and all that and it’s not Bruno’s fault he is young, nor Lucy’s that she is older, but this was never going to go any other way.
“What, you haven’t even read the Time Traveler’s Wife?”
“No, but I did like River Song in Doctor Who. Is it like that?”


Hahahahaha. Oh, Bruno. I would have said this at 20. In fact, I probably didn’t even know what house wine was at 20 – all my eating out was confined to dreadful American burger joints and cheap breakfasts in BHS cafe.

I would be disappointed with anyone his age giving even the slightest fuck about wine. Until I was about 26, it came in “colours” and that was as much as I knew about it. Oh, and “fizzy” too.


“I am too young to give a shit about your dog.”

I feel for Lucy here. Cute pets are usually an easy win, unless you find yourself up against one of those rabid cat and dog haters. I would only show a 20-year-old heterosexual male a picture of a dog if it was a GIF of it falling off a chair or it had a huge pair of Page 3 knockers Photoshopped onto it.

Table manners next. What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster?

lucy_table manners

No, it’s an “impeccable”. I suppose on this date, which reads like the  collision of a swan and a terrier, to the soundtrack of two radio playing at once – one’s got Radio 2 on and the other is blasting out 1 Xtra – you would have to reach for a positive and Lucy has found comfort in an “impeccable” here so I shan’t deny her that.

bruno_table manners

Good, good. Next.

lucy_three word

Well-read? Remember Bruno’s answer to the “What did you talk about?” question. Either Bruno is super-convincing at fudging his way through plots of novels he has never even seen in Bargain Books, or Lucy is faking it as well. The nation demands to know: what books have you two actually read?

bruno_three word

If there’s one book Bruno has read, it’s Simon Cowell’s biography.

lucy made of you

I imagine the conversation on this date to be on an awkwardness scale somewhere between “Grandma is on the phone and your mum has wet hands so can’t take the handset from you for the moment so you have to tell her about university and your coursework and she doesn’t understand” and “Caught lying about whether you used a large, chargeable carrier bag at an M&S self-checkout”.

bruno made of you

And to think they wasted a Friday on these two. How many of these columns have we read where one or the other uses “It was a school night” as an excuse for not having a wild night of exciting hedonism, unbridled passion and, crucially, readable content the next day?

bruno go on somewhere

See? Poor Bruno. (Although don’t say things like “school night” when you still have the scent of your last school meal clinging to you.)

There’s a bit of nonsense about an awkward handshake that I’m ignoring because it feels like a lazy plot device thrown in to make this seem like less of a bore, so let’s move on to marks. Lucy:

lucy marks

“Zero. But with point-five on it so he doesn’t get a complex. Although make no mistake, this was terrible.”

bruno marks

Is this that congratulation culture I am always hearing about? How nobody can fail, everybody gets a “well done” and all that?

It is a nice idea, but, Bruno, this date was not a 10. And in life you need to feel the fives and the sixes to ever appreciate how good a ten can be. Don’t reward mediocrity; don’t say it was “amazing” when it was “mortifying”.

Lucy’s scored you a nothing, which you probably deserve – you need to hit back. Oh well.

lucy meet again

First an “impeccable”, now a “yes, as friends”. Lucy’s answers feel media trained to within an inch of their life. This is a woman who was determined not to look stupid – or be made to look stupid – in a magazine.

She may well pull it off, but for Bruno bounding in like a labrador and breaking all the best china.

bruno meet again


Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian


Danny and Anni

danny and anni

Another week, another pair of attention-seekers who think true love awaits between the staples of a Saturday supplement. Charmingly, they have rhyming names – imagine the years and years of bad jokes they could get out of that one at the dull, predictable dinner parties both are surely destined to attend. Let’s hope the fact they sound like two children’s TV presenters isn’t the most interesting thing about them, eh?

Read what happened on the date before I get my blowtorch out.

Danny, handsome in that “works at Foxtons, rents a flat with laminate flooring” kind of way, is 26 and a management consultant. You can tell this by the way he is wearing a suit.

Anni is 22 and an intern. I’m dying to know where she’s interning, said nobody ever. Anyway, let’s kick off. Danny:

danny_hoping for

Ugh. Errrrrrr. Groooooo. Yuk. Bantz bantz bantz with a top bird who loves the lads. I bet Danny is a proper “all right mate, nah mate, what a nightmare, you’re jokin’ aren’tcha, maaaaaate” certified bantosaurus. “Strong banter.” Unless Anni confesses to being a serial killer/Ukip voter/the Lindbergh baby, you have utterly lost this for me.

Banter – the sole conversational mode of people who never tell their family what they mean to them but cry when a millionaire they’ve never met scores a goal.

anni_hoping for

I’m guessing Anni has not read this column before.

danny_first impressions

You don’t normally get men going on about women’s eyes. In my experience, it tends to be women who get excited about a potential partner’s eyes. It doesn’t matter how nice someone’s eyes are – after ten years of marriage, you’ll want to poke them out all the same.

Let’t just assume this is a safety blanket for Danny and that really he wants to say something about her boobs or bum. And as for the accent fetish – whatever.

anni_first impressions

Remember all those times someone said you looked “nice” and you were all like “OMG they must really fancy me!!!” No, me neither. On time is a big plus, though. As I often tell my boyfriend, usually as he arrives to meet me flustered and wishing he were going out with someone else, if you arrive bang on time, you are in fact late. Three to five minutes early is actually on time. I know.

The topics they talked about are all super dull, except for the revelation he is from Portugal and she is from Estonia, so let’s wander on to awkward moments, with this baffling statement from Danny.


I don’t know. I am going to assume, knowing as I now do that Danny is from Portugal, that this is a language thing. I have known many a sarcastic eye, but never one that wandered sarcastically. I suppose whoever compiles the column could have phoned Danny to check, but hey ho.

Mind you, the entire date reads like it was run through Autocorrect so maybe he meant “salaciously” or “sexily” or “onion”.


Oh, God, aren’t these two boring? I fear poor old Banthony Hopkins’ hopes of some proper bantz have been permanently dashed. I have felt more sexual energy from bending down to pick up a dropped piece of toast from the floor and scraping the hair off it.

danny_table manner

anni_table manner

See? Duuuuuull. A day without weather, the last Digestive in the packet, a slightly untuned radio (long wave). As a policeman guarding a car accident would say, “Move along, there is nothing to see here”.

danny best thing

Remember that Debbie Gibson song “Lost In Your Eyes”? Oh, it was terrible. But it was only slightly less cheesy – but perhaps not as sweet – as that. Anyway, you only get lost in someone’s eyes if you’re not listening to a word they say, so way to go D-man.

anni best thing

Really? WHEN?!

danny made of you

Have you noticed how people say this a lot in this column? To compensate for the fact one half of the date sits in stony silence, the other apologetically confesses they talk too much. You should never apologise for being able to hold a conversation.

anni made of you

Yes, Anni, those peepers have yours made quite the impression. Thanks goodness you didn’t wear Ray-Bans or this may have all turned out differently.

Both of our contestants say they wouldn’t change a thing about the evening –perhaps they don’t get out much – and then it is on to scoring. Danny:

danny score

A “generous” 7? Honey, there ain’t no such thing. Given that a 6 in Guardian Blind Date terms is effectively a zero, Danny is giving Anni a courtesy score. But after all that talk about her eyes, why the low score, with the bizarre qualification that it is a “little generous”?

It’s obvious: Anni sitting there like the Mona Lisa in slingbacks all night has led Danny to believe that she probably doesn’t fancy him, so there’s a good chance she’d be scoring “honestly” when the column came out.

Perhaps if he had shut the hell up for longer than five seconds and asked Anni a question or two, he might have reached a different conclusion, because, well, looky here:

anni scpre

You don’t give eights to people you don’t fancy. Although “haven’t decided yet” – this goes out on PAPER, Anni. I know you are 22 so are a digital millennial or what-fucking-ever, but you do understand that once the copy is submitted and printed, it cannot be altered, right? Anyway, people who say “8 or 9” mean 9. So, 9.

danny meet again

Oh, Danny. You have really, really misjudged this one. Perhaps if you concentrated less on your bantz and more on what is actually happening opposite you at the table, you’d have seen there was no need for this blatant face-saving. Maybe your tie (which I can’t believe you wore to be photographed in) is too tight.

Final word to Anni:

anni meet again



Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian


Russell and Jennifer

russell and jennifer

The Guardian must have been hard at it last night as I can’t find this week’s Blind Date online anywhere, so where I’d normally say “read what happened before I go to town on them” or whatever, I can’t. You’ll just have to trust me.

This week we appear to have two people who remembered they were going to be photographed for a magazine. Makeup! Hairstyles! Half-decent (if a bit boring and safe) clothes! At last.

Russell is 31 and an ad consultant, while Jennifer is 24 and a TV researcher. Who says all Guardian readers live in a media bubble, eh, viewers?

Here’s Russell to start us off:

russell–hoping for

Ooh, look at the pretty colours. I feel like I just got my nails did. Anyway. “Trying something new.” Perhaps Russell has never met a woman in a passable restaurant before. Or does he mean the “blind date” aspect? I suppose there is no such thing as an actual blind date in the modern age, is there? Before you’ve even agreed a venue, you’ve stalked them on Facebook, rolled your eyes at their tweets and run their LinkedIn job titles through Google Translate.

jennifer–hoping for

Jennifer is 24. “A raconteur.” You met many raconteurs, Jennifer? I’m guessing not. Here’s the thing: a raconteur is just another name for some dreary old man who talks about himself. Also: sharing “swipe left” stories about Tinder isn’t being a raconteur – unless you want to switch out that “o” for a “u”.

Russell again:

russell talk about

“Middle child syndrome.” You’re 31, Russell. It is time to move on. I look forward to seeing Jennifer’s interpretation of these “deep conversations”, don’t you? Spoiler: the water is barely up to the top of your toes.

jennifer talk about

HAHAHAHAHA. Oh. How’s that search for a raconteur going? Just how “deep” can you get about a 50-inch TV? “His travelling” – ugh I am 100% out here. And talking about carbs on a date? Why? We are about to find out. Table manners time!

jennifer table manners

A couple of things here: Why would you tell someone on a first date that you were on a “no-carb day”? What a delightful first impression – “Yeah I’m on some weird diet that’s a cross between Opus Dei self-flagellation and being slightly hungry in the middle of a McDonald’s”. Diets and eating plans are like dysentery or bank balances – the details should be kept to yourself.

But HANG ON: “I ate his chips”. Russell says Jennifer’s table manners were “very good”, but she ate his chips. She put her hand in his dinner. Did she wash her hands first? Maybe she used a fork. She leant over and waggled her fork all over his plate. Jennifer, unless you do something AMAZING by the end of this post, you have lost this one for me.

Let’s do awkward moments. Russell:

russell awkward

Really? Not even chip-gate? Jennifer:

jennifer awkward

Oh God. OK, Jennifer, you’re back in the lead. It is a long time since I had a romantic relationship with a woman (yes, it happened), but even as a gauche, closeted string bean in my early 20s, I instinctively knew that you shouldn’t really suggest a woman could easily take up prostitution. Call it intuition, or perhaps not being a massive dickhead, but I somehow knew that wouldn’t be the right thing to say. Russell, however… Well.

russell bes thing

“Accent.” I don’t get accent fetishists. “Uniqueness.” OK. Hair. This says absolutely nothing.

jennifer bes thing

Wow the sexual chemistry is fizzing off the page here. Also, she called it a pocket handkerchief, so didn’t get the memo from GQ magazine that it’s “pocket square” – you blow your nose on a handkerchief. I’m surprised Russell didn’t mansplain it to her; perhaps he thought he’d put his foot in it quite enough.

jennifer introduce

OUCH. Is there any way to make a man sound less and more dull than suggesting he is really “salesy”? Nobody really wants to have sex with people who work in sales. Except other people who work in sales. And that’s only because they devote so much of their time to working in sales and being “salesy” that nobody else will have them.

I’m dying here. When will this end?

russell made of you

I think Jennifer was staring at you fantasising about stoving your head in with an anvil, Russell, but it’s great/concerning you can read this as a come-on. And as for the high fives? What a pair of dicks.

jennifer made of you

Were these two even on the same date? I can’t work out whether they liked each other or not. By the way, Jennifer, you’ve got long hair with a short fringe – unless he’s been living in a cave since 1993, when this hairdo first came into fashion, it’s not your barnet putting the fear of God into him. It’s all that bloody staring.

*high fives for no reason whatsoever*

jennifer three words

Oh, this explains the staring. She was trying to read him. Sadly, Russell isn’t a Kindle and if he were, the backlight certainly wouldn’t be on.

russell change one thing

Russell does appear to have been on a completely different date from Jennifer  (or “Jenny” – I wonder if that is a dig) but he hasn’t particularly laid into her. Or, actually, said anything at all of note. However, that’s not what we’re after, so here’s Jennifer with a slam-down – it’s what we’re here for, don’t deny it.

jennifer change one thing

See? He’s “salesy”. Also: of course it is staged – you’re in a magazine. I’m not sure how vulnerable or honest you can be when you’re talking about your 50-inch TV. Didn’t his eyes mist up even a little when he talked about his “travelling”?

The scores are agonising. Russell goes for “8.9” for reasons best known to himself, but I think we can safely assume he fancies her. Jennifer marks Russell a “5” which is a serious, third-degree “doctor telling relatives there is a chance he may not make it” level of burn. But he did suggest she become a hooker, so… y’know, I’d say she’d marked him pretty highly.

The end is heartbreaking.

jennifer meet again

Oh, Russell. What did you do? Oh, we know what you did. It’s all here.

russell meet again

There really are two types of people in the world: those who should not apply to appear in a magazine, and those who really, really, really should not apply to appear in a magazine. Here we have both.

Kimberley and Javier

Plinky plonky music? Check. Shaky video of two drongoes trading awk-bantz in dimly lit wankstation in central London? Check. Yes, Watch Me Date is back.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 13.15.11

This week, it’s Javier, a 30-year -old web designer (but of course!) and 26-year-old actress and hat-wearer Kimberley.

Watch along if you like. I had to.

When you say “how are you?” to someone, you should let them answer and then move on, not follow it with an “all right?” because it is the SAME question. Minus one point.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 13.22.47

Javier: “I don’t eat anything from the sea.” Shut up. What a stupid, false, pretentious thing to say. Even if this is true, don’t say it on a date.

“I don’t really like seafood” is fine. “I don’t eat anything from the sea” is an unnecessary statement of high drama that might get you a place on Big Brother, but will not, by any stretch of the imagination, get you fucked.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 13.22.52

Kimberley can’t use chopsticks. Neither can I, and I’m too old to learn. Just ask for a fork. Eventually, Javier can take no more of Kimberley stabbing at her grub like a park-keeper on a trash walk, and asks someone for a fork.

Javier: “We talked a lot about the theatre, musical theatre, and what she liked. And not a lot else, to be honest.” Fucking actors.

“I’d say he got a pretty decent picture of who I am,” says Kimberley, after the video shows her wanking on and on and on and on about, well, herself.

Javier shares some Tinder stories, which is all very interesting except oh no hang on it isn’t at all because you can’t walk down the street without someone stopping you to tell you a Tinder LOL but yeah haha it’s really funny and yes you do look like a total hero in that one. Ledge.

These two will mark each other a six, I just know it. The gentleman’s zero.

Javier marks Kimberley a six.

Kimberley: “Five feels a bit mean. Six.”

What did I tell you?

In the closing VT, our too-cool-for-school duo give it a few light shrugs and knowing smirks and say they don’t want to see each other again.

What a coincidence! I don’t want to see them again either! Flush.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 13.27.26