First Dates fans can’t look away as couple’s date spirals into Brexit debate

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Kayleigh Dray

From the first ever First Dates baby, to the realities of signing up for a date in the First Dates restaurant, our favourite dating reality show has generated a huge amount of conversation over the years.

But, as any stalwart fan of the Channel 4 series knows, there’s nothing people love talking about more than a seriously awkward first date.

Last night’s episode (18 September), which kicked off a brand-new series of First Dates, certainly delivered on that front – and, naturally, it also answered one of those Carrie Bradshaw-esque questions about love which so many of us ponder over.

“I couldn’t help but wonder… in a world as politically-charged as that of 2017, is it still possible to fall in love with someone who ticks a different box at the polling booth?”


That’s right: this episode was all about finding love in the time of Brexit.

Things kicked off when Lette, 23, sat down to dinner with fellow political activist and Cambridge graduate Fred, 26.

It was hoped, initially, that they would forge a bond over their enthusiasm for current affairs – but their fledgling friendship soon hit the rocks when they came to the prickly issue of Brexit.

Because, yeah, you guessed it: they’d both rallied for opposing sides in the highly divisive debate.

Lette, employed by the Conservative party and a Leave voter, looked more than a little taken aback when Fred outed himself as a Lib Dem field intern and Remain campaigner.

And, naturally, viewers had a lot to say about the subject on Twitter.

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It seemed as if the couple were in trouble from the get-go. Thankfully, though, Fred knew exactly what to say.

“Let’s struggle gamely on, as Boris Johnson would say,” he quipped – and the change in atmosphere was palpable.

So much so that the politically opposed duo deemed their date a thorough success (after all, it would be boring to date someone exactly the same as you, right?) – and are still dating, even now.

It’s a hot topic for any couple to contend with – not least of all those who meet on television. In fact, according to new research by, 30.5% of 18-24-year-olds think politics is important in a relationship.

So much so that 17.5% avoid finding out the political opinion of their date in case it changes their feelings towards them.

However,’s dating expert, Vicki Pavitt, insists that differing politics doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.

“It’s always important to be understanding of your partner’s political preferences and to be mindful that their preferences may be different to yours,” she tells The Independent.

“Honesty is key, so don’t hide your views in fear of it putting off a potential partner – they will want to know the real you, politics and all!”

First Dates will be back next Monday (September 25) on Channel 4 at 10pm.

Images: Channel 4


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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