Judo experts, Midsomer Murder extras and a ménage à trois make for an eventful First Dates episode 6

There's not a wallflower in sight in the latest action-packed instalment of Channel 4's dating show...

Have you ever been on a date that’s ended in a judo throw? (Maybe a bit of wrestling, if you’re lucky…) Well, that’s how a couple at the First Dates restaurant round off their rendezvous in episode six of the dating show – and it’s impressive stuff. Nadia, 36, from London is a blackbelt and tells 38-year-old serial dater Ori that she could easily “squash him”, a joke that causes him to break into a slight, but definite, sweat. As the pair say goodbye, Nadia stays true to her word.

Advertisement

It’s not just the martial arts that make this episode all about the strong women. There’s also a no-show dater, who leaves 22-year-old Mula waiting for half the evening. But like judo expert Nadia, Mula is seriously tough. “You’re lucky I don’t know who you are,” she says to the camera with a dignified fury. “Because you’re wasting my time.”

Returning from yet another time-killing visit to the loo, she finds 38-year-old Dom sitting at the bar. But he’s not her date, he’s merely waiting for someone too. As the pair clink glasses to their shared experience of potentially being stood up, French head waiter Fred looks momentarily gloomy. “This is very bad,” he says shaking his head, before suddenly perking up. “It could be a ménage à trois!” 

Perhaps the most intriguing female of the night is Nathania, a 21-year-old from Berkshire who is doing her English dissertation on marriage as a form of torture in old fairytales. She’s looking for a new man, after being told by two previous dates that she’s “emotionless” and has a “black heart.” What charmers! Lucky then, that she’s meeting “soppy” Dan who has a penchant for  Kenny G-esque saxophone ballads and once wrote an auto-tune love song for a girl he was “obsessed with.” 

Once fully invested in the idea of traditional fairytale endings, Nathania is now rather more sceptical (understandably, given her choice of thesis). Geordie postwoman Jodie is another female subverting the stereotype, having shunned “stroking elephants in Thailand” after finishing her degree, to deliver letters. Openly gay since her early 20s, Jodie has better banter than everyone else in the restaurant combined. “As soon as I’ve had a drink I’m a smooth bastard,” she jokes. But fun and games aside, Jodie and her 26-year-old date Laura have moving experiences of prejudice which serve as a reminder of how Britain is not always as tolerant as it claims to be.

And then the most glorious couple of all, 63-year-old Jan from Essex and 67-year-old Eric from Nottingham. As much as we live in a youth-obsessed world, I’d happily devour an entire spin-off show about middle-aged daters. Witty, confident and excited about their futures, their truly awful losses of a son and a wife only make them a more mesmerising pair. And best of all, retired Jan now works as a TV extra, with turns in Call the Midwife and Midsomer Murders. Oh, and the Foxy Bingo ad in which she dances in an open-top mini. No gardening and cross-stitch for her, then…

Advertisement

First Dates is on at 10pm on Channel 4