Northampton man who starred in Channel 4’s First Dates reveals what happened after filming with date he called ‘wifey material’

The pair hit it off on their date and both said they wanted to see each other again

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 4:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 4:14 pm
Rory Dodds starred in an episode on First Dates' seventeenth series.
Rory Dodds starred in an episode on First Dates' seventeenth series.

A man from Northampton who starred in an episode of Channel 4’s First Dates has spoken out about the experience.

Rory Dodds is originally from Bugbrooke, but now lives in Bury St Edmunds, applied to be on the TV programme in August last year and within a matter of days he had a FaceTime interview and travelled to Manchester for his date.

The then 23-year-old, who had been single for five months at time of filming, was set up on a blind date with then 24-year-old travel agent, Ella, from Peterborough.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rory on the show, which was filmed in August last year. Photo: Channel 4.

During the episode, which first aired on September 13, the pair hit it off straight away and bonded over their love of travel and family values.

Although Rory’s age was a sticking point for Ella who said on the show that she usually dates men older than herself, the episode ended with them both wanting to see each other again and with Rory saying his date was ‘wifey material’.

More than a year after filming, speaking to Chronicle & Echo today (September 29), Rory said: “We didn’t see each other again. Ella couldn’t get over the one year age gap.

“We stopped talking a couple of weeks after the date but I loved being a part of the show. It was an amazing experience.

“My mate’s mum actually said to me that I’d be good on the show and I just thought ‘you only live once’ so I applied.

“It’s a weird experience but a good one.

“There are cameras everywhere but you have to completely forget about them and focus on your date in front of you and getting to know them as much as you possibly can.”

During the episode, Rory opened up to his date about his mother passing away from breast cancer when he was 14.

Dawn - Rory’s mum - wrote him a card for every birthday until he turned 21, which Rory remembers emotionally during backstory interviews for the show.

The family lived in Bugbrooke, before Rory, his father and sister moved to Bury St Edmunds for a ‘fresh start’ after Dawn died.

The now 25-year-old groundworker added: “It was nice to see that the part about my mum did get broadcast.

“I’ve had a lovely response from everyone who has watched it and it was really nice to hear what everyone thought about it.

“I wanted to show people who are my age now or younger and have lost a loved one that life does get easier.

“And that you always remember the memories you have with that loved one.”

Since filming the episode, Rory is now in a new relationship and is ‘very happy’.

Watch his episode of First Dates on All4 now.