First Dates star Ben Shevlin made a huge impact when he was on the show looking for love almost five years ago.
But while he has really fond memories of being on the popular Channel 4 programme, he can’t bear to watch it now.
Fans of First Dates might remember that Ben, from Shropshire, was still recovering from a brain injury he sustained in a moped accident on holiday more than a decade earlier.
He was paired up on First Dates with Charlotte, from Manchester.
We sat down to chat with him this week and discovered that he’s had something of a career change in the years since, having found a new passion in comedy.
What’s more, his health has improved and he’s even found love!
Ben can’t watch First Dates now
We asked if he still watches the show and Ben said he can’t bring himself to have it on TV – and even switches over whenever it comes on!
“I don’t know why but I turn it off when it comes on,” he explained.
“I’ve only got good memories from it, but yeah I don’t know, I don’t like seeing it.”
After a pause, Ben said it’s knowing how producers put the show together.
He said: “They kind of try to get you to say things, which I didn’t like at all. While I was on, we were having the meal and they stopped the meal three times. They ask you, can you talk about this please, can you talk about that.
“They wanted to go a certain angle with the show, I guess. That kind of annoyed me. So now I know it’s not entirely natural.
“It’s amazing though, because all the cameras are built in and you don’t have a cameraman in your face the whole time.”
Ben said he went on another date with Charlotte after the show, but unfortunately things didn’t work out.
“She was a lovely girl, really nice,” he said. “But there was just no romantic connection really.”
Now, Ben is in a relationship with a woman from The Netherlands – and, oddly, they owe it to the show.
He said he’s found “love” with his girlfriend Cynthia.
Ben met new girlfriend thanks to First Dates
Ben said: “A year after my First Dates was on, in 2017, I went travelling around the world. I was in Melbourne, Australia, when I got a message from a Dutch girl.
“Because the programme aired all around Europe, and at the time I was getting the odd message off viewers, in Spain, in Italy. I got a message off a Dutch girl, Cynthia. We got talking and we’ve been together for just over three years now.”
Today, Ben is working hard to get over the ongoing effects of his brain injury, and has even started running – something he says he would never have been able to do back in 2016.
He’s also found a new passion in stand-up comedy and has a YouTube page for his work.
“I do stand-up comedy,” he said. “But haven’t been able to do it, obviously, [in lockdown]. I wasn’t into stand-up when I was on First Dates, but after the show had been on, I used to go to a local comedy club and knew the guy who was the compare there quite well.
“He wrote me a five-minute set as people knew me because I’d been on the show, so I did this set and loved it! And started writing my own stuff after that.”
Do you remember Ben’s episode of First Dates? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.