It all started when I responded to this advert. I had seen it at work. It really spoke to me. Yes I was in fact looking for love in all the wrong places again. I was coming up to two years living in the UK and was thinking I am fairly settled here in Bristol. All that was missing is somebody to love, as much as I love solo travel. I thought It would be nice to have a partner in crime to join me on my trips. So I went and sent them an email, I was sent back an application form. It asked me various questions about my past relationships , hobbies , my sexuality, my ideal partner ect.
Although I know you can’t hurry love, I was quite swift with sending the application back with a recent photo. I was invited for a Skype interview with the producer. This lasted around 30 mins from memory, It was just a casual chat. Getting to know each other. I was then told it would be recorded and shown to other members of the production team. I was told I’d be contacted if I was invited to the next round of Auditions. A few days had passed and I received an email saying the network were keen on getting to know me more in person.
Some of the team were coming to bristol the following week for auditions and invited me. I accepted. I went to the audition which was conveniently located in a hotel next to my work. I filled out a fair amount of paper work & then it was time for me to go into the room. I was asked to take of my clothes down to my underwear. The camera would be rolling and there were two lovely young girls in the room, one asking me questions, while the other took notes. I was nervous at start but once I got going I was fine.
By the end of my audition I honestly feel like these girls knew more about me then most of my friends would. I would tell them my whole life story. I didn’t know where to start, I realised I have done quite a bit with myself and my life so I didn’t stop talking for quite a while. I left the audition feeling positive, I had a good feeling I was suited and that I came across well.
I was asked loads of questions about my ideal partner. My previous relationships. What I’m looking for , where I see myself in 5 years ect.
At the time of my audition , I had been through quite a dry spell in the world of gay dating in Bristol. I had given up on tinder, grinder. I was sick of guys telling me to shave and making rude remarks about my facial hair. There was absolutely no way I was shaving for anyone. I had just joined plenty of fish, but they wanted my money for me to see my matches.
I was very open to this new concept of dating. I had previously been on the show Dating in the Dark as a 19 year old. I didn’t have much luck on that show but it was certainly a great experience.My Dating in the Dark experience
I liked the idea of being stripped bare at the start of a date. I for one have not always been body confident. Coming from Sunny Australia where all the TV shows have tanned hairless beach bods. Also having lived in Los angeles, a very image conscious city. I can’t tan. I never have been able to. These days I have just about as much hair on my body as my face. I gave up on waxing years ago. I realised you are never going to be able to please all your potential lovers. I know there will be someone that will like me for all of me. Beard, back beard, sack beard, everything.
I decided not to trim or wax at all for the show. After all this show isn’t a modelling competition. I wanted to go onto the show, hair and all.
I was also asked if I would be open to dating a transexual. To which said I am not sure. As I have not even ever met a transexual person.
I also like the idea of being matched! I know they had hired some professional match makers for this. The casting producers knew absolutely everything about me. I thought they are either going to match me with someone awkward to make some funny TV or they are gonna match me with a babe.
The whole experience was a real thrill! I received a phone call saying great news, we have found you a match. The man on the phone said we really think you are going to like them.
I was open to them finding me a girl or boy I really didn’t mind, although I didn’t know until the day the sex of my potential lover.
It turns out me and my potential lover had holidays the same time. I was told they would have finished up filming by the time we got back. They wanted us to be apart of the show so much they re scheduled other dates to fit us in! This meant I only actually had 3 days notice that I would be on the show. I found out the friday, that I would be filming on the monday. I was so thrilled that I was officially going to be on the show. I was mega excited in many ways. Mainly I couldn’t wait to see who they matched me with!
I was told I would not be able to wear any branded underwear for the show. I only own designer underwear and had just got a nice delivery of aussie bum. I was suggested to go to H&M and buy some. That I did. I got them home tried them on and thought to my self. No way am I going on television in these disgusting panties. I had a mini pannick attack and went back down to the mall to try and find some more flattering jocks. I did end up finding some at TK Maxx , a discount designer shop. I was not feeling as comfortable as I do in my diesel underwear but they’ll do.
I received confirmation of my travel. I would be catching a train from Bristol in to London at 11am. This wasnt to bad at all, I was expecting them to put me on the first train out of bristol at like 5am.
This time gave me enough time to ease into my morning. I ran a hot bath , and was gonna soothe my way into the day. I was just about to get into the bath when my phone rang. It was the show, they said the timings had changed and they would actually need me to get the 10am train instead! Although I had a mild heart attack, I agreed. This gave me around an hour to get bathed and make it to the station. I just made it!
The train ride was peaceful. I was listening to some trashy pop to calm the nerves.
Although I’d been on many sets before & even been on a dating show. Theres no hiding the nerves. Nerves effect people in different ways. For me these nerves I’ve felt before, they effect my metabolism and digestive system. I had been anxious although excited that whole weekend. Theres not polite way to say this , but lets just say I had the runs! Stomach cramps, not fun.
Arriving to London, I needed to swap trains and make my way to wembley. There was a big black shiny production vehicle waiting to collect me. When we arrived to the studios, it felt like it was some kind of top secret mission. Walkie talkies coordinating all the movements. To ensure I don’t see my date. I was then held hostage in a little dressing room. I had a nice lady assigned to supervise me, he job is to chat to me , help calm the nerves. Her job also is to stop me from running away. Nerves can get the better of themselves and some people can chicken out last minute. She did a good job of taking my mind of the fact I was about to get stripped by a complete stranger in a room full of cameras. There were around 20-30 people working on the show.
It was my turn to go into the studio for the pre interviews. I had done this before and it can be quite an awkward situation. You are sat on a chair with big warm studio lights on you. You have a gigantic camera in your face & then you have the producer to the left of the camera. Her job is to get as many answers and reactions from you as possible. I was a bit disappointed with my lack of control when it come to my nerves. They do get you to repeat the answer a few times as well as try and put the question in the answer. Although I know they will only use a few seconds here and there for the episode its just really exhausting being asked so many questions. Especially when you are worried about how you are going to look behind all the nerves.
I remember I was so hot that I was sweating loads. I am quite hairy and sweat quite a bit any way , so if you were to put heat lights in front of me it aint gonna be pretty.
After the pre interviews I was taken back to the dressing room for some more down time. I looked at my shirt and it has sweat patches everywhere! It was quite a tight shirt so it really picked up a lot of my sweat. I panicked a bit, I said I cant go in there with all these sweat patches! A member of the team then when and got a hair dryer, I stripped off and dried up all the sweat.
It was then time to go into the bedroom studio. I was first up, meaning I would be the one waiting on the bed for my date to come in. There was still a bit of down time, I was given a little walk through of where to go when the cameras were rolling.
I seen on the projection screen the name Jimmy & Oli was on there. I then knew that they had in fact found me a boy! I was a little relieved to be honest , as I have mainly dated guys in my life.
It was time to film! I had a bit of adrenaline walking into the room. I sat down and then waited patiently for my date to walk in. I felt like the pressure was on, It is after all unscripted for the next 30 minutes. We shook each others hand and introduced each other. I couldn’t wipe the nervous smile of me. I felt at ease when he greeted me with a big warm smile. We only had enough time to introduce ourselves, then all of a sudden the big projector made a noise and the words undress each other popped up.
Now it was who’s gonna go first. I jumped in quickly and undressed him first. I figured that way I’m not in my underwear trying to undress this man.
My first impressions of Oli were , wow he is a babe. What a beautiful smile. He was basically what I had described as kind of guy I’d go for. He was the right height, great body, really nice eyes & a beautiful olive complexion.
We undressed each other. The screen then said lie on the bed. I was actually really excited to get to know Oli. Once we were on the bed I felt a lot more comfortable. I completely forgot there were about 8 cameras pointing at us.
The date went really smoothly, they obviously don’t have time to air everything. There were no awkward pauses. The screen would put various photos and ask certain questions to keep the date flowing and keep things interesting.
Oli and I bonded over places we’ve been and places we want to go. Oli & I both shared similar interests not just in travelling but we also liked theatre. He was a really easy going guy. I honestly thought we had a spark. When it asked us about kissing , I was very eager to get involved!
The date was really over and it said you have 30 seconds , would you like to ask each other any other questions. I then asked Oli if he would like to go to dinner tonight. He said yes.
After filming we both got dropped off to the train station , caught the train into central London, we went to a nice park and lied on the grass and got to know each other more. We were quite tired from our day as well as I had just finished working a 58hour week. So it was just nice to relax a little. We shared a nice dinner together. We then walked around. Things went really well we called it date 2.0.
I had mentioned to Oli that I was flying back into London from Berlin in two weeks. We agreed it would be a nice chance to see each other again. We exchanged numbers and had been texting on and off for a few weeks. I honestly thought it could go somewhere. We both lived busy lives, although I was keen on getting to know London more & Oli mentioned he had never been to Bristol. I was excited to show him this beautiful city. I also thought I had found a nice travel buddy. Someone I could take trips together.
My flight coming into London was cancelled. There were no additional flights that day so I had to stay in Berlin another night. I didn’t mind as I was having a great time there. I text this to him. I never got a response.
I then text him a few weeks later to let him know I had been doing some press around the show and I hope to see him again one day.
That was the end of Oli & I. It bummed me out again. I won’t be hung up on it though! It is his loss if he doesn’t want to know me.
It made me realise I am not going to waste my time looking for someone, it was a fun experience and its ashamed it didn’t work out. I’m just going to carry on being single and traveling the world solo.
I agreed to do some press around the show. The producers had decided to use an old photo of Kim Kardashian and I. So they used this to pitch stories to the media. It was successful and I did interviews for the Bristol post, as well as The Mirror which is Britains 2nd biggest paper. The click bait headlines were absolutely hilarious and I got a real laugh out of it.
UK & Ireland my show is now available on iTunes to rent or buy😁. This was actually one of my favourite all time dates. Oli was a dreamboat! I love putting my love life in the hands of casting producers. Who has time for Tinder. #notme #UndressedUK 📺🎥🇬🇧🍆