This article first appeared in Attitude issue 290, January 2018.
Occupation: Assistant producer
Occupation: Junior marketing manager
What were you hoping for from the date?
Charlie: A bloke to make me laugh. If that led to something romantic then that’s blinding.
Peter: I had no expectations, but I love the idea of Mystery vs. History (from How I Met Your Mother), where you meet someone without doing any prior research or Instagram stalking.
What were your first impressions?
C: He was smartly dressed and had a huge smile on his face.
P: He was very handsome. He looked like a bit of an Essex boy, which turned out to be true. I loved his little gap tooth as well.
Would you have swiped left or right?
C: Probably left. I tend to go for Essex boys on appearance.
P: I’d have swiped right, for sure.
What did you make of his dress sense?
C: Super smart: blazer and shirt. I don’t even own a blazer!
P: He had effortless style. I’ve always thought you need to wear a shirt on a date, but he rocked the jumper look.
How was the conversation and what did you talk about?
C: There was never an awkward moment. We talked about Ilford, my hometown and coincidentally the first place he lived in the area. We even ended up talking about Yemen’s civil war.
P: We covered everything from where we work, coming out stories and living abroad, to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the independence referendum in Catalonia, and ludicrous internal Tory politics.
What was the most interesting thing about him?
C: He’s from the Isle of Man, and I learned that they have their own government and chief minister and their own laws. I’d assumed they had an MP in Parliament.
P: His hobby of rowing with an LGBT+ club — so sporty.
What was his best quality?
C: He was easy to talk to and no conversation topic was off limits. He also picked out a really nice wine.
P: His passion, particularly for films. He spoke about crying three times during the animated film Ratatouille with such conviction; it was mesmerising and adorable.
Were there any deal-breakers?
C: He didn’t watch Kimmy Schmidt, Will & Grace or Drag Race. I didn’t ask about Mean Girls – that really would’ve been a deal-breaker!
P: As long as I don’t have to get up at 6am on Saturdays when he goes rowing, we’re all good.
What do you think he thought of you?
C: That I was a bit camp. He did say I was this weird blend of camp gay and butch rower.
P: I swore a lot and ate too much of the dessert we shared. Other than that I hope I was friendly and funny.
Peter and Charlie dined at M Restaurant, Victoria Street, London.
How was the food?
C: Gorgeous. The steak tartare just melted in my mouth.
P: The fillet steak was easily within my top three meals ever. Dessert cocktails were beaut, too. And I couldn’t fault the service; we were so well looked after.
How did the night end?
C: With an espresso martini.
P: We walked to the Tube together and I got his number.
Snog, marry, avoid?
C: Marry. On the Isle of Man!
P: Would snog for sure. As for marriage... early days.
Will you meet again?
C: Yeah, he’s an actor, so I’d like to see him in one of his shows.
P: I’d be up for it — if we can find time between his rowing and my theatre rehearsals.
Rate the date?