I thought the show was amazing, I was so pleased they managed to capture what an amazing experience it was for both Dan and myself. I have had some lovely feedback from friends, family and on social media. Everyone seems to say how well we both came across and how they enjoyed our dance and stories.
What made you get involved? Are you a natural dancer?
I would like to think I was a natural dancer yes. I trained as a dancer for a few years when I was younger and have always loved it. I’m always the first one on the dance floor wherever there is music, life is too short. In the gay men’s chorus we often have lots of choreographed numbers which I love.
You came across as a bright and happy and handsome youch guy – have you always found it hard to find dates?
Thank you, that’s nice of you to say. I have found it hard to date in recent years. I think because of the apps everyone has become so quick to judge on first glance, myself included.
Have you had your heart broken?
I have had my heart broken many years ago. I dated an Australian and his visa expired causing him to leave which was devastating as it was out of both our control. I was young and maybe a bit naive but it still hurts to this day that I didn’t ever get closure. It took me about two years to get over the fact he was not coming back.
When you saw gorgeous Dan for the first time how did you feel?
It was one of the most surreal experiences in my life. I was so full of nerves but was insanely excited at the same time. For me the not talking was so strange as I can talk for England, so it was a whole new experience. Even now when I hear the intro to the song I’m there back on the stairs of that amazing gallery in the middle of the night!
Oh how lovely. Did you fancy him?
I thought he was very handsome and had such a lovely beaming smile. I don’t think he was classically my type, but that’s the reason I wanted to take part in this experience, to stop me judging someone too soon.
Was being so intimate without talking a weird experience – the two of you just smiling into each other’s faces was so enchanting.
I think because from the start we both saw how much the other was enjoying the dance and it put us both at ease so we could relax more into the dance and be emotive.
You both enjoyed a lunch afterwards – what happened after that? Was there a spark?
We met up again at a Sports Day event in Vauxhall as some of my chorus friends were participating in a team and he was taking part with some of his friends. Unfortunately, there was not a spark, but I’m pleased to say it is the start of a great friendship, he’s a lovely guy.
Oh what a shame…. Has this experience made you more confident about dating.
Yes, I think it has made me much more confident. It was interesting to see myself on camera and see what everyone else sees. Everyone has said they thought I came across well which is always nice to hear.
The museum setting was so romantic – has this experience made you feel more romantic?
It has yes, the whole experience felt like it was straight out of a romantic musical. It reminded me how important romance is in dating and how much I have missed that feeling.
Had you been an app type of guy – are your horizons more open now?
I am indeed the app type, and yes I think this experience has opened up my eyes to how enjoyable romance is. The apps seem to take minim effort and people (including myself) expect romance from a few pixels. Dan and I worked so hard to learn the dance and the reward was so worth it. So I think this has opened my eyes to new experiences.
Tell is about your coming out experience….
I am very fortunate in that I told my mum when I was 16 and she was totally cool about it, we have an amazing relationship, she’s like my best friend and mum rolled into one. I think she knew, with my life-size Beyonce poster on the wall and Will & Grace on the TV!
Did you have a happy teen life as a young gay guy or was it hard?
Secondary school was very tough for me, I was verbally bullied for a lot of my time there. I was always pointed out for being different, the way I spoke, the way I looked and acted. It never broke me though because I always remember thinking “who wants to be the same? Why do you all want to look, speak and act the same, how boring”.
Good for you.
I just had this inner feeling that I was going to go onto bigger and better things. Before you knew it I was off to college and Uni where everything changed and I met people more like myself.
You said you are part of a gay choir is that a great way of meeting guys?
I would be lying if I joined solely because I love to sing and dance. There was a part of me that hoped I might find romance but It hasn’t happened so far. But I have met so many amazing friends and had some once in and life type experiences like singing at Tom Daley’s wedding!
Wow! Now you’re a handsome guy with an amazing smile – have you always been body confident?
Thank you, that’s kind of you to say. Until the age of about 25 I was, but until then I was naturally very slim and I don’t really remember thinking about it a lot. Then when I started to put on weight, as you do when you get int your late 20’s, I would say my confidence has been dented. I think I hide it well, but it does weigh on my mind a lot. We are constantly bombarded with faceless six packs on the apps, and the sculpted gym guys on Instagram, in adverts and TV. It makes me sad that if you don’t work out you are somehow not enough. I’m a bit chunky here and there but some guys like something to grab hold of!
What is it you look for in a guy?
Time is one of the most important things to me, if a guy wants to spend their time with me I treasure that. I also look for an understanding and sympathetic nature. A guy that can make me laugh is a real bonus, I love the feeling when your tummy hurts from laughing so much. Physically I do love taller guys, if I look at them and think “I bet they could pick me up without a struggle” then we are talking. But nothing is set in stone for me.
And what do you think guys like in you?
I think guys enjoy that I’m bubbly and talkative. I’m very kind and caring and always ready to listen and talk out a problem. I’m super loyal, if I’m with a guy then they know it. I’m quite cheeky and flirty as you could probably tell in the show. I would like to think I’m the kinda guy your mum would love.
Flirty Dancing is on Channel 4 every Thursday at 10pm. Catch up on All4.