Love, lust and a whole loada gossip...
Celebs Go Dating season 2 has landed! And if you're a fan of the show, you're gonna LOVE Tom Read Wilson's exclusive behind-the-scenes blog for Closer Online...
Yes - our absolute fave dating show (sorry First Dates!) Celebs Go Dating is back for a second series (whoop)! And we're SO excited (and keen to get all the off-camera gossip!), that we've recruited receptionist extraordinaire Tom Read Wilson to be our lurve spy on the inside.
Season two has a stellar line-up of love sick celebs, including TOWIE's Ferne McCann, Ex on the Beach's Stephen Bear, gorgie Hollyoaks' Jorgie Portie, little Perri Kiely from Diversity, and, much to Tom's delight, the one and only Joey Essex!
So what are you waiting for? Pop the kettle on, grab a biccie (or three), and let Tom tell you what's really what...
Tom may be a sweetheart, but that doesn't mean he's scared to reveal all the goss! (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
Ceelbs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 7
Tom believes that Melody is a true romantic (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
I have discovered in my short spell with Melody that, like me, she's true romantic: She adores Maria Callas, especially the most impassioned arias. She falls in love quickly and deeply. Nadia and Eden are acutely aware of this so tonight, you'll see them mix things up with the terpsichorean Alejandro. Will Melody (who also has the moves) be swept of her feet? Or will she find herself pining for her first date, Frankie?
Melody has to face, at this very early juncture, what I believe to be the trickiest part of our process: No matter what, the number of dates our celebrities have is finite! So, if you're bewitched on the very first then discover on the fifth that your chosen man is a bit of a rotter then you only have one date remaining!
Knowing the volume of delicious clients on our books it's terribly difficult to make these second date decisions, especially in the early days.
Nadia and Eden want to see if the impact of the date they seem to be most taken with is permanent. If Melody spends her date with Alejandro thinking of Frankie then Nadia and Eden have their answer. But if her head is turned then...who knows?
You'll also see dear Jonathan rolling up to his very first date in a Bentley with a host of paparazzi! Will he be able to shake off the press long enough to enjoy Chanelle's company? And how will his delicious candour work in the context of dating? If he's half as charming as he is in reception with me we won't have a problem.
Will Jonathan find love with someone who looks just like his BFF Kim Kardashian? (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
Certainly Chanelle seemed awfully keen on him so he has the most wonderful foundation. But will Chanelle's Kim Kardashian revelation change everything? And will Joey's interruption throw him horribly off course?
Whatever happens, I have huge confidence in Johnny. I suspect, having spoken to him at length in reception, that he too is a romantic. He is generous and sensitive. He just happens to have exceptionally high standards!
Celebs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 5
Tom has learnt from the best, and now he wants to share his lessons for love with you! (Credit: Instagram/ Tom Read Wilson)
Tom Read Wilson's advice to first-time daters
Now I may be a chronically hopeless dater, but I do work under two dating wizards, so I like to think I know a thing or two about love (even if I don't seem to be able to apply it to my own love life!).
Friday night's Celebs Go Dating saw my darling Peri embark on his first grown-up date. Inspired by Peri's greenness and my own dating clumsiness of yesteryear, I thought I'd share some of the things I deem most important on a first date.
1. My essential tip is utterly emancipating: The love of your life will fall for you warts and all! In days gone by I was shy about some of my more eccentric idiosyncrasies and would try and modify them on first dates. Don't! Your great love will love those idiosyncrasies above all else. The last time I got very serious with a boy, I was making a meal and telling a dear chum how terribly nervous I was. She replied, "but darling, with 'the one' you simply can't go wrong: he'll find that very nervousness about the supper preparations more enchanting than anything else." It was a blinding epiphany! I realised that some of the things I liked best in men were things they'd sooner conceal... bashfulness for example!
2. Always try and ask questions One's anxiety often causes one to dominate conversation for fear of a lull. But people are endlessly fascinating. Even if that face across the supper table doesn't turn out to belong to the future love of your life, they've lived a life that is probably a rich tapestry. Which brings me on to...
3. Chemistry-free dates: They are never wasted In fact they can be jolly liberating. When you suspect they're not romantically interested or know that you're not, worries about spinach in the teeth evaporate and you have full permission to have a super time with a charming stranger! Eye contact is marvellous. There lies every clue, twinkle, flirt and frisson you need. They are indeed the windows to the soul. With that in mind...
4. Anything that causes excessive deviation from your dates warm gaze should be eliminated I therefore would declare phones off the table my cardinal dating rule. It is a bitter irony that these tremendous tools of sociability can be the very things that impede most. Never miss a moment of the live magic!
5. Finally, and most importantly, have a lightness of heart Dating should be fun, irreverent and maybe even a little naughty. We all care deeply, very deeply, but joie de vivre must reign supreme.
All you fellow singletons are utter darlings who, like our celebrities, are on an adventure: The wonderful adventure of dating! It's unlike any other and can yield the most glorious fruit. Good luck!
With love from your loyal cheerleader for love,
Celebs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 4
I think, because I'm subtle as a brick, everybody has spotted my love for dear Joey Essex. What people may not know are the seven things that have contributed most generously to my crush. So, I have tried compile a list of some of the most magical things about the apple of my eye...
The gorgeous Joey (Credit: Instagram/ Joey Essex)
His vocabulary: He is the modern-day Shakespeare, no-one but the Bard has coined as many words and phrases! And I think his peng mastery of onomatopoeia is reem!
His twinkle. On Joey everything twinkles: His eyes, his teeth and of course, that incandescent personality.
His love of animals: Joey revealed to me a particular love of frogs and has even installed a frog jungle chez Joe!
His wardrobe. The snappiest of dressers: He never fails to find the tints that make those eyes pop!
His dance moves: from time to time Joey and I privately polka, which is second only to flying! You'll also see some Joey gymnastics in short order.
His hugs: So long as I have my diurnal "Essex embrace" I can do without my second coffee- I'm quite buoyant enough!
His voice: It's a real basso profundo. It seems to oscillate through every fiber of my body. It's terribly distinctive and it's my first clue that he's about to cross my threshold and lift my spirits irreversibly.
Celebs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 3
Tom is NOT impressed with lothario Stephen Bear's etiquette (Credit: Instagram/ Stephen Bear)
Well, Mr Bear's reception etiquette leaves a lot to be desired! It's not just the agent's room where he's let fly with wall-trembling burps.
Alas, I've not been immune to them either, but much worse than the ructations and flatulence, he squeezed Fern like a new ketchup bottle and, as you'll see in due course, she's not the only celebrity he peddles his dubious commodities towards in Reception.
I have to say, I'm beginning to have my doubts about Mr.Bear... manners maketh man and he's more than a little deficienct.
Perri on the other hand has the most impeccable manners. I don't know what he thinks I'm up to in reception, but he always knocks before entering.
With his malteaser eyes and effortless charm, Perri has the perfect credentials for finding love... if only we could find someone who shares what he tells me are his greatest loves: dancing, his dog and most importantly...Harry Potter! But they'll have to let him talk long enough (or read this) to discover them first!
Celebs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 2
So now you all have a true flavour of the full extent of the impact Joey's return had on me: I was all a-quiver and experiencing palpitations. Seriously guys, I was truly knocked sideways!
Sadly though, Joey doesn't have eyes for me. Instead, he's truly focused on finding love (with someone else, sob!), and confided to Nadia and Eden that he's now fully committed to doing things their way.
Words are all well and good, but actions speak louder than words, so to test his resolve, Nadia and Eden promised a bind date!
Ferne's date was too "vanilla" and left her with an appetite for cinnamon sprinkles: I think cinnamon is a clue as to the kind of piquancy Ferne really craves... but this may be idle receptionist speculation!
While Jorgie dined on lobster and champagne in Manchester with Harry (it's alright for some, eh!), my beloved Perri prepared for his first ever date!
Perri scored a highly respectable eight out of ten for his dating debut but didn't, alas, swoon. Nevertheless, I think swooning is a real dating-debut rarity so I'm not in the least disheartened!
At the slightly more seasoned end of the dating spectrum, Joey discovered his blind date was cougar Izzy. They begin an exchange on the relative sex appeals of ponies and frogs... because what else would you talk about on a first date?! Seriously guys - you really need to up your banter bar!
As Jorgie's date with firefighter Harry draws to a close, her fire is little more than embers but I suspect Mr.Right may be lurking round the corner...
Celebs Go Dating: Season 2, Episode 1
Well! We are back in the agency and the walls are already positively pulsating with love-hunting hopefuls.
Our new celebrities have had candid and cathartic consultations with dating gurus, Nadia Essex and Eden Blackman (my beloved bosses) and we have seen tears, fears and indecision.
But seriously - how is Perri 24?! (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
Fern is somewhat unsure of her ideal man's credentials, Jorgie is experiencing an early crisis of confidence, Perri feels a little green and Mr. Bear unnervingly close to the other end of the spectrum.
Cue the first "Mixer": A veritable melting pot of hunks and bombshells for our celebs to feast their eyes upon.
I stronlgy urge Perri, who is a complete dating novice, to pick based on who he feels most comfortable talking to. He was unsure of the degree of romance he'd experienced but knew he'd had one wonderful chat: He spoke for nigh on twently minutes to the lovely Charlotte and decided it was well worth continuing on a date. That's my boy!
However, it's a little more complicated when one hunky fireman bewitches two celebs: But could it be serendipity?
Fern's initial mismatch fireman Harry left her free to be wooed by the devilishly charming Ciaran, who seemed intent on prolonging this very promising flirt on a first date!
Stephen Bear didn't waste any time getting, er, stuck in! (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
Meanwhile, Mr Bear skips preludes and dives straight in to my complete chagrin. I fear he may be an uphill struggle!
Back at the agency, it's business as usual. But I am about to be surprised beyond my wildest imaginings. It is no secret that last series the apple of my eye was a certain Mr Essex.
Joey Essex is back - but will he find love this time around? (Credit: Celebs Go Dating)
To my total astonishment, Nadia and Eden have secretly reinstated him as a client! Disguising his voice and complete with face-eclipsing hood, he entered the agency.
On crossing my threshold he revealed those trademark blue eyes and I instantly regressed to being putty in his hands. I'm quite sure I had a palpatation.
We chatted endlessly and I was ultimately chastised for keeping him for so long. What can I say? He's so deliciously moreish...
Next time he will reveal to the agents what prompted his surprise return.