Blind date: ‘Awkward moment? The temperature gun check’

Jack on Francine

What were you hoping for?
A free meal, good company and that my picture wouldn’t show what my sister calls my weird half-smile.

First impressions?
Very easy to chat to. The conversation flowed.

What did you talk about?
Cat-sitting, running during lockdown, our career paths.

Any awkward moments?
Beaming “Oh, hi!” when I saw her, only to be recalled by a waitress who pressed a temperature gun against my temple as if I was being murdered in No Country For Old Men.

Good table manners?

Best thing about Francine?
Her chat. We had lots in common.

Would you introduce her to your friends?

Describe Francine in three words?
Fun, warm and interesting.

What do you think she made of you?
Hopefully, a good guy to spend an evening with. At the very least, a competent Lorraine Kelly impersonator.

Did you go on somewhere?
No. Maybe if London wasn’t so quiet right now…

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?
We had a goodbye peck on the cheek, but I think our connection was more friendly than anything.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I’d have worn a more sensible T-shirt.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?

Blind date is Guardian Weekend magazine’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 Guardian Weekend 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?
We 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?
No, 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?
Honestly 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

Francine on Jack

What were you hoping for?
A fun evening with someone who was easy to get along with. Failing that, someone with a funny story to tell.

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First impressions?
Tall! He seemed friendly and I felt relaxed around him straight away.

What did you talk about?
Our jobs as journalists. Jack is taking part in the Oxford vaccine trials and has appeared on Lorraine for an interview, so as a broadcast journalist I was very interested in that. Also cat-sitting and both being quite useless at cooking.

Any awkward moments?
I saw Jack arriving, but then he had to fill in his track-and-trace details, so that was a slightly awkward start. Also, I felt slightly overdressed.

Good table manners?
Very polite. We chatted for ages before deciding which tapas to go for. We tried octopus, which I’d never had – a good shout.

Best thing about Jack?
He seemed interested in finding out about me, which makes a change from some of my dating experiences.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
Yes, but as a mate.

Describe Jack in three words
Friendly, chatty, honest.

What do you think he made of you?
Probably, talks too fast and too much. Hopefully, easy to get on with.

Did you go on somewhere?

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?
No, I felt more of a friendship connection.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
To have not started work at 6am that day: I was knackered by the end.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Yes, as friends.

Jack and Francine ate at Iberica Marylebone, London W1. They were photographed separately for this image. Fancy a blind date? Email

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