Steve Jones on bad romance and how he wooed his wife: “I’m pretty good at dating”

The former T4 presenter has a new gig scrutinising singletons on E4's Young, Free and Single — but what can he reveal about his own (long) dating history?

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Next time you’re on a date, just think to yourself: “what would Steve Jones do?”

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The former T4 presenter is playing dating guru as host of E4’s interactive dating show Young Free and Single, where he’ll give feedback on every detail of the contestants’ dating technique, live on TV. 

And when RadioTimes.com spoke to Jones, it was clear he’s got the credentials a to give dating advice…

So here’s the lowdown on the presenter’s love life, his awkward experiences, and the story of how he met his wife. Listen up, daters.

So Steve, how do you feel about being a dating guru live on TV?

“I’m excited because this is genuine people going on genuine dates… and we get to pick at the bones.”

You met your wife [model Phylicia Jackson] in LA. Had you dated everyone in Britain?

“Dating for me was a lot more successful in America because I got a wife out of it! No disrespect to British women but dating was good over there. But dating’s always been good in London too, I’m pretty good at dating.”

“Seeing the diamonds in the rough in LA is a lot easier… there’s a lot of people who trade on their looks exclusively so they don’t have that much to say. So when I first moved to LA and I was dating, I met lots of different people but there was a lot of skin-deep stuff.

But then I met my wife and I was like [makes a flurrying motion with hands and a strange alien-like noise] ‘she’s beautiful AND she’s got something to say’.”

How did you meet your wife? Because we know it wasn’t on a live interactive E4 dating show…

“I was out in LA at my mate’s birthday and she was there with a group of her friends, I was there with a group of mine. One of my wife’s friends came to talk to one of my friends. We turned around and both masses of people met in the middle and I thought ‘Oh, you’re nice!’ 

“I asked her on a date and here we are, married. It was very traditional in that sense… she always said to me that I was a little bit cold, because I was talking to one of my friends about a serious subject, and I wanted to finish the chat first rather than go, ‘excuse me, there’s a woman over there!'”

The contestants on Young, Free and Single are all 30 years old or less, with one just finishing her A Levels. Are you glad you were a a bit older when you found The One?

“It took me 34 years to find my wife and it felt right and continues to feel right at 38, but when you’re young there’s pressure not to settle down. If I meet someone and they’re 22 and they say they got married recently I’m like ‘whaaaat, why are you mad?’ It’s crazy.

“I think there’s pressure to date around, especially with internet and social media where you can so easily meet people nowadays. When I was dating you’d meet people on the streets and say ‘hey, how you doing?’

“This modern way is a good thing because I believe in the volume principle: meet a lot of people and you’ll find that one person. If I didn’t do what I do, I’d have been all over internet dating because I wanted to find someone and you can’t assume that someone’s going to be in the bar.”

Tell us about a bad date you’ve had. 

“Sometimes on dates people get a bit nervous. I’m a bit nervous too so I might drink a bit more than usual, and if a girl is joining me on that she’s going to get drunk pretty quickly. I’ve poured a few girls into taxis at the end of the night — no names mentioned — but I’ve had a few vomitous incidents. Not me of course: I’m Welsh, I never vomit. But I never judge, it’s tough going on a date.”

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 Young, Free and Single: Live airs on Monday August 10th at 10pm on E4