Music’s not the food of love for First Dates couple

Channel 4's dinner-dating show is an emotional rollercoaster, says Paul Jones - even when the couples get passionate about heavy metal


Watching First Dates is a lot like looking for love. Time after time it builds us up only to knock us down again as our hopes for a couple are cruelly dashed – leaving us hurt, confused and afraid to trust Channel 4 ever again. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the thrill of a connection while it lasts…


This week’s helping of the dinner-dating show featured, among many others, Dan and Sarah. Incurable heavy metal fan/romantic Dan has become a regular, his Partridge-tinged, over-earnest conversation and uncompromising requirements of a potential partner having so far failed to land him a second date.

So the crackling, sparking connection he made with the initially meek and unassuming pharmacist Sarah over their shared music tastes had me hearing wedding guitars.

For want of an actual video clip (although you can watch the scene from around the 21-minute mark here once you get past the ads) here’s the moment Dan and Sarah uncovered their mutual love of Finnish metal band Nightwish…

Sarah: “Tell me about your music tastes, but you’ll have to go a bit mainstream… probably.”

Dan: “Ok. Iron Maiden. Motorhead. Metallica. Er… Saxon.”

Sarah: “Right. Ok. I’ve heard of all of those.”

Dan: “Let’s try something left-field. Nightwish…”

Sarah: (spits out her drink then, wide-eyed, covers her mouth with her hand) “No. Way.”

Dan: “You know Nightwish!”

Sarah: “You’ve heard of Nightwish!”

Dan: “Heard of Nightwish? I’ve got, like, everything they did…”

Sarah: “And have you got all of their new stuff with Floor Jansen?”

Dan: (quickly realising this could be a trick question) “I’ve not… No – because the new album isn’t out yet!”

Cut to later in the conversation

Dan: “I think we could have an interesting evening-slash-long-weekend –”

Sarah: “Of educating –”

Dan: “Of educating one another!” 

Sarah: “I think I’d really like access to your music collection.”

Dan: “I think that can be arranged.”

Sarah: “Memory stick.”

Dan: “No, you’’ll need an external hard-drive…”

See what I mean? Not only did they have all that in common but by the end they were trading digital-storage-device sexual euphemisms. How did those two not end up together? As it turned out, Dan wanted someone he could bring up little metalheads with, Sarah didn’t, and that was a deal-breaker.

In fact, three possible successful match-ups turned sour at the last minute in this episode. So thank god (or Eros or Cupid) for the one happy ending. This week’s sixtysomething couple – Colin and Jackie – “speak on the phone every day, just waiting until they’re together again.”

These youngsters could learn a lot from the older generation.

First Dates is on Wednesdays at 10pm on Channel 4