Blind date: ‘I went into full-on bossy mode and told him to use his fingers’ | Life and style

Chris on Kate


What were you hoping for?
That I wouldn’t make too much of a fool of myself.

First impressions?
She had a nice voice.

What did you talk about?
Mutual liking for Anne Tyler’s novels. Mutual disbelief that Boris Johnson is still prime minister. Kate’s children in Paris and New York. My niece’s cat in Nice. How writing is not “fun”. What a nice person Elizabeth Taylor was when Kate met her on a film set. How people in person often contradict their public image.

Any awkward moments?
None, though the restaurant was noisy, so talking was sometimes a challenge.

Good table manners?

Best thing about Kate?
She was on my cultural wavelength and easy to talk with.

Would you introduce Kate to your friends?
My friends are all quite different, but Kate would probably get along easily with all of them.

Describe Kate in three words.
Intelligent, well-read, assertive.

What do you think Kate made of you?
It takes a long time before I know how other people see me. I have often got this completely wrong.


Want to be in Blind date?


Blind date is Saturday’s dating column: every week, two
strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans
to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we
take of each dater before the date, in Saturday magazine (in the
UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of
person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions
cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests,
preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely
to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don’t worry: we’ll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that
Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply

Thank you for your feedback.

Did you go on somewhere?
To the street to wait for a taxi for Kate.

And … did you kiss?
That was never going to happen on a first date.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
That the restaurant could have been less noisy.

Marks out of 10?
Romance wasn’t in the air, but it was a pleasure to spend an evening with Kate, who couldn’t be less than a 10.

Would you meet again?
We swapped email addresses so time will tell.

Kate and Chris selfie for Blind Date
Kate and Chris on their date

Kate on Chris


What were you hoping for?
An adventure or “attempting and achieving a renewal of life” – to pretentiously quote Freud.

First impressions?
There’d been a mix-up over times, so understandably Chris looked shy and anxious, but I really liked his clothes.

What did you talk about?
Novels. Poetry. Film. Family. How we both like seeing several films in one day.

Any awkward moments?
Taking the selfie, at which I’m hopeless.

Good table manners?
Exemplary. He was trying to cut his barbecued sweetcorn chunks with a knife until I went into full-on bossy mode and told him to use his fingers.

Best thing about Chris?
He’s read so many books and speaks with such insight about them.

Would you introduce Chris to your friends?
Yes. Some of them would like him a lot.

Describe Chris in three words.
Intriguing, thoughtful, attentive.

What do you think Chris made of you?
Somewhat overbearing with the potential to become boring.

Did you go on somewhere?
No, we had talked to the point of exhaustion.

And … did you kiss?

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
The restaurant staff were lovely, but the menu was a bit meat-heavy for me.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Maybe for a second round of “books we have read or might like to read”. And Chris would make a great writing buddy, if he’d like that too.

Chris and Kate ate at M Victoria Street , London SW1. Fancy a blind date? Email

Leave a Comment