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  • Stefan Howarth

Blind Date on Channel 5: The Gossp

Well there's no keeping it a secret anymore, not that I was ever very good at keeping secrets! If you watch the Blind Date reality show on Channel 5 or follow their social media then you may have seen my little face pop up in a few press photos as they look ahead to next weeks show. Its true, I've filmed for the show, and its true that I am beyond excited, and also slightly mortified, to see how its all turned out! It was late last year in November when I was cast to star in an episode, to try and bag a date with an eligible bachelor and have a good old giggle in the process. In anticipation for the episode that will air this Sunday (16th June 2019) I have shared with you a post that I wrote the night filming ended dishing all the gossip, and telling you cheeky snippets of what to expect from my pending episode.


Thursday 29th November 2018 I'm currently laid glamorously on my hotel bed in true Carrie Bradshaw style in Maidstone. I am draped in sequins with a trailing sash down my right side and a very large glass of rose in my left hand as I attempt to write this article, an article that probably wont be spoken of or seen by anyone for many months. I'm pumped full of adrenaline and excitement having had a blast, and I cant wait to tell you all about it! It was last week that I got the official call, "Hey Stefan, you're coming to blind date! You've made it on the show..." Well, they were the round about words used, everyone who knows me knows I am not very good at relaying stories! I had been approached via my social media page on Instagram by the casting team to apply for the show originally, starting off the casting process that lasted a few weeks. They had asked my good friend first, who was already on the radar of TV produces because she is one fierce-ass-bitch (her name shall remain anonymous). She however is already married, but as we're good friends and she knew this kind of thing was right up my street as they say, she sent over my details instead. Luckily the team also liked me, and this led to filling out some forms online, to a telephone call, then a video casting. Several weeks later? I was in! I was super excited and a little nervous to have made it on the show, but that soon turned to panic as it meant I had only a week to find an outfit worthy enough for TV! The Outfit If I am honest, I didn't think it would take me as long as it did, especially as I work in the fashion industry and have some amazing contacts at my finger tips to utilise. I sent out a few emails and started to look at TV worthy gowns and suits online. Hours which turned into days then passed, with no replies to my emails and having found nothing good online. It didn't help that I wasn't sure on what I wanted to wear either, all I knew was it needed to be special, unique and standout amongst the set and other peoples looks! Parcels were being delivered and returned daily to my home and work addresses, all being opened with a sense of frustration as the contents continually let me down. This went on much to my dismay till the day before I had to film. It was a Wednesday, and I had a train to catch first thing the next day with filming scheduled for later the same afternoon.

I was at work, with one parcel left to be delivered, this was from ASOS. I had spent a good 7 hours the evening before hunting through page upon page of clothing, searching phrases such a "Sequin" and "Unusual" in the hopes of that one special piece popping up on my screen. The package arrived at midday (I'm thankful for that next day delivery option!) and I dashed to the office toilet to try on the contents. As the pile of clothes flung on the floor marked 'Reject' grew bigger, I began to stress, and if you know me, I am not good when I am stressed over outfit choices! Blue and silver sequins were shining from the last package, all neatly packaged in tissue paper. It was a beautiful corset gown/top by ASOS, encrusted with blue and silver sequins with a sash down one side and a long train. I stepped into the gown and pulled it up expecting not to fit into the size 8 corset, but just like it was meant to be, the zip fastened perfectly and I knew I had found the one!

(Please note: Outfit photo taken several weeks after filming) Shirt: New Look Jeans: Primark (though for the show I wore Rubina Roo ripped jeans) Sequin Corset: Asos Heels: Koi Footwear

I decided for the show I would stay true to my usual aesthetic, a look that has become a stable for me. Wearing simple menswear pieces such as black skinny jeans and a black shirt while adding an extra flair with a statement piece, in this case, the Asos womenswear corset and chic black heels. In this outfit, the draped sequins do all the talking! Travelling to the studio Now that I had found the outfit last minute, all I needed to do was travel to the Maidstone Studios and record the show. I woke up that Thursday morning early feeling perfectly confident and calm, it was a grey and rainy day as I left my apartment, but the closer I got to the studios, the sunnier the skies seemed to be. Now most people think the show is completely unscripted, well, this isn't the case, and its something I learnt as I was travelling down. I had an email with my final versions of my lines to say on the show, lines which I was not overly impressed with. One felt a little too filthy for me to say on national TV so I quickly emailed them back with an alternative, which they accepted, thankfully, so I spent the rest of the journey rehearsing in my head, and also out loud when the train carriage wasn't as full!

As I arrived on set at the Maidstone Studios I was starting to get a little nervous, and I strutted into a room full of boys (such a hard life!). Some of them were the boys I would be filming with, Sean @Seanyg0 and also Javell @Javelllynton along with three others that would be on another show who were also recording on that day (their episode has already aired, and I must admit, it made me giggle far too much!). The rest of the day was a little bit of a whirlwind, we were all introduced to each other and the whisked off to rehearse on the official set. The set was smaller than expected, but everything looks bigger on TV right? (Hopefully not my fat head though!). We were told what would happen and where to stand, we also had out outfits screen tested and asked to go though our lines to make sure the sound was the best it could be. Most of this is a little blurry in my mind as it all happened so fast, one of those life-goal moments that go by so fast. Following rehearsal I got very nervous, and before we went into hair and make-up we had some time to rehearse what we would say and discuss the ad-lip talk with Paul O'Grady the host. Now I am very good at faking confidence, and due to working many seasons of London Fashion Week I am very comfortable in front of the camera, but I was shocked at how nervous and tong-twisted I got. As we rehearsed our lines together I was struggling to remember simple sentences, honey I'm a look queen, I'm used to serving face not learning lines! I got so nervous about my lines I asked to be taken to a private room to breathe, and go though my lines one to one with the casting team to make sure I got them right, however after 10 minutes I was then whisked in the TV whirlwind into hair and make-up.

Make-up I am someone that doesn't leave the house without having a fully made up face (honey, I don't even empty the bin without it!) so it was no surprise that I walked into hair and make-up with my face already done. I did my face at home before I left so all we had to do were apply my trusty Kiss Lashes from the Triple Push-Up Collection and contour my face as TV make-up is usually a little heavier for the cameras. My lovely make-up artist even redid my red lip for me as we gossiped and I sipped Coca-cola.

For recording I used the same make-up products I usually wear for fashion week. I used the Fenty Foundation with Laura Geller Real Deal Concealer. Dior shadow in 583 Animal with Cloud9 Lipstick in shade Sophia. To have extra glossy lips I used the Dior Lip Maximiser lightly patted over the top of my lipstick. On my brows I use BeautyPie’s brow powder. I then used my favourite bargain face powder by Primark and for my nails I used Impress stick on's, one of the best! Filming the show As I walked out of hair and make-up we only had a short amount of time to get into our outfits ready to film the show so I quickly stepped into my corset, zipped it up, flung on my heels and I was ready, very nervous, but ready! By this time everyone in the group of guys I was with seemed excited and nervous to record the show, and this is when the Blind Date team saved my life (a little dramatic but true) as this is when they brought out the wine to celebrate the experience. I don't advocate drinking wine when you are nervous, but sometimes a good hearty glass (or three!) is just what the doctor ordered, and it helped settle my nerves as we were secretly marched to back of the set. We could hear the audience excitedly giggling as the warm up act got them pumped up and animated. Myself, Sean and Javell lined up in a row ready to walk on stage, all dressed up in our finery (well, I was, No T No shade, but I blatantly looked the best!). A few sips of water later, a deep breath and we heard Paul O'Grady say the line to have us strut out on stage, and so we did! As I hit my mark on stage, all my backstage nervousness and anxiety was gone and I smiled and sassed my way though questions and gossiped with Paul O'Grady as if we were friends. I did say some saucy answers, things that I will probably regret when the show airs on Sunday, but ultimately the show was a positive, fun and exciting experience to be apart of. Now you probably want to know if I got a date or not? Well unfortunately you will have to watch the show and find out. As for my saucy answers? Well, you will also have to watch the show to hear what I said, but I'm sure you'll be giggling just like the audience did. I will be mortified at home with a bottle of champagne surrounded by my very amused family and friends! Gosh, what possessed me to discuss my ring on TV?!

The final episode of Blind Date which will feature me airs on Sunday 16th June at 8pm on Channel 5.