Photograph: Jill Mead/David Levene/The Guardian
Impeccable Table Manners

Georgie and Matt

Do you ever lie back on your sofa – or futon if you’re in a ’90s London yuppie drama – and wonder what is the point of it all? Why bother going to buy artisan bread from your local market or campaigning for Starbucks not to take over the local greasy spoon you’ve never one stepped foot in, if the world is going to be obliterated by fascism, climate emergency and, even more terrifyingly, the return of bootcut jeans?

What is there to get excited about when the world seems such a mess? When we’re three years deep into a political hell that has done its best to destroy the will and strength of the vulnerable? Well, apart from the impending Louise Redknapp comeback album and maybe 15 minutes in the steam room with the Jonas Brothers (well, Joe, while the other two stand outside towel-whipping one another), nothing. So we may as well carry on, hadn’t we? Because if there’s one thing that will save us from madness or being radicalised by overhearing a discussion about carbohydrates on breakfast television, it’s the utterly mundane. Routine! Thank goodness.

Speaking of which, here are Georgie, 21, a dancer, and 27-year-old Matt, who is a police officer. Although the world rages around them, they’ve exfoliated, toned and moisturised and turned up in nicely ironed clothes top go on a date. And why not? Here they are in full view:

Photograph: Jill Mead/David Levene/The Guardian

And now in a very special episode of HollyoaksRead what happened on the date in the Guardian for the full horror while I make some selections below.

Georgie on Matt  | Matt on Georgie
What were you hoping for?
I had checked out the restaurant beforehand and was hoping for an amazing meal… with a side of banter from Matt thrown in.


What were you hoping for?
A marriage proposal. But I was ready to settle for an excellent meal with someone pleasant.

“A marriage proposal.” Sadly despite posing for the photo shoot, Matt was unable to attend the date after all, so instead sent Lizzie Bennet along. “Someone pleasant.” How many packets of Werther’s Original do you reckon Matt keeps in his glove compartment?

First impressions?
I walked down the stairs and our eyes met across the room. But I didn’t have my glasses on, so I couldn’t see him too clearly.

Look, I love a rom com opener as much as the next dead-inside cynic, but I’m going to call bollocks on this one. If she didn’t have her specs on and couldn’t see clearly, how did she know his eyes were locked on hers, unless… oh actually here is a live reconstruction of Matt’s eyes meeting Georgie’s:

First impressions?
Attractive – and she was escorted in by the staff as if she was famous.

Just trying to make sure she didn’t run away, maybe.

What did you talk about?
The unique dialect of Matt’s home town, Milton Keynes; the police definition of theft, and our ambitions for the future which, sadly, were very different.
Spirituality, estuary English, life goals, Brexit, soap, our favourite drinks, Fleet Town football club, the Lib Dems, stealing pub glasses.

Accents. ✅ Always a fascinating chat. One of my favourite things about telling people I am from Yorkshire is when they do a comedy northern accent back at me… hang on I forgot something, I mean to say “””””comedy“””””. Anyway, yes, they give it all the “oop north” this and “down t’pit” that, and it is always always always hilarious. Even better when they say “oop” to rhyme with “poop” because they don’t realise that the phonetic spelling of a faux-northern accent has actually been created with a southern accent in mind, just like everything else is all about you. We don’t say “oop”, we say “up”, but because YOU BASTARDS say it “ap”, it has to be made clear that our pronunciation of “up” is along the lines of the sound you make when you say “took” or something. Same with “fookin” and southerners (usually) parroting it back phonetically. Seriously, once I realised this is how “oop north” came to be, I wanted to start a war. Don’t even get me started on the way they say, for example, “trouble at t’mill” because lava might come out of my eyes. Northerners don’t generally have phonetic spellings of a southern accent, I don’t think. Know why? Because we’re not remotely interested in or fascinated by you.
Theft. ✅ I’d actually like to speak to a police officer about the theft of my TIME having to read this drivel.
Life goals our ambitions for the future which, sadly, were very different. ✅ I’m guessing, I don’t know, Matt sees himself as a chief superintendent of somewhere and George imagines herself as a part-cyborg pint glass thief?
Brexit. What still?!?

Any awkward moments?

OK so shall we do a poll and guess which one was pro and which was against? It doesn’t matter anymore does it? We all lose.

Any awkward moments?
When I stood up to greet Georgie, I nearly knocked the table over. I also confused sorbet with meringue.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this bored so early into a date. It’s usually the friends question that tips me over the edge. What am I supposed to say here?

Good table manners?
Yes, overall, but I think he did steal the last poppadom.
Superb: the ever-increasing number of dishes were expertly navigated.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
No, I think we are probably too different.
Yes. I think Georgie has the gift of being able to get along with anyone, even my mates.

Oh this is a shame. A group of dancers meeting up with a bunch of coppers sounds like the basis of a dreadful ’70s sex comedy doesn’t it? Anyway, it seems Georgie’s gift of getting on with anyone doesn’t extend to… Matt.

Describe Matt in three words?
Kind, well-groomed and mature.

“Like my grandad.”

Describe Georgie in three words?
Ambitious, outgoing, cool.

“Like every girl who refused to speak to me at college.”

What do you think he made of you?
Hard to read but very enthusiastic about the culinary experience – the food definitely lived up to my expectations.
I kept trying to talk with my mouth full.


If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
That I got the last poppadom.
That I hadn’t chickened out of pretending that I had ordered Georgie’s complimentary espresso martini.


Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Probably not, but I did say I would hunt him down if he slated me in this review… so we’ll see!

That dull thud you can hear is Matt kicking himself for not saying Georgie was a vapid dullard – not that I’m saying she was, I have no way of telling what either of these people are like from these answers. It’s like, I don’t know, looking for deeper meaning in toast.

Would you meet again?
I don’t see why not.

DON’T you? Read this date back over and over until your eyes hurt. I’ve read sexier pamphlets about bin collection.

Never again will I do a review of a couple who resolutely refuse to BRING IT.

Georgie and Matt ate at Kahani, London SW1. Fancy a blind date? Email If you’re looking to meet someone like-minded, visit

NOTE: The comments I make are based on the answers given by the participants. The Guardian chooses what to publish and usually edits answers to make the column work better on the page, but get in touch if you want to give me your side of the story, but if it’s dull as this date, maybe wrote it on a postcard and send it to Crimewatch.

SUPPORT ME: I am doing some events over the summer to promote my novel. Find out when and join me if you like. It would be nice if you bought or reviewed the book too.


  1. Essentially, Georgie thought Matt was too dull….but you get the sense she was more disappointed about it than he was. Was he dull, or was it that they were just different personalities. He seemed pretty laid back and up for a bit of fun. She seemed nice as well, although perhaps more of a details person than he was. The minor food faux-pas aside, it’s difficult to know what he did wrong other than be himself. Better luck next time, Matt!

  2. How do we find out when and where these promotional dates are for ‘The Last Romeo’? That sounds fun 🙂 Also – I’ll take Nick Jones if you’re leaving him outside in only a towel 😉

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