HE’S the matchmaking maitre d’ at the heart of one of the nation’s favourite shows – and now he’s shared a rare insight into his own love life.
First Dates star Fred Siriex, 50, made a rare appearance with his mysterious beau 'Fruitcake' last night on Celebrity Gogglebox.
It's the first time he's allowed the nation to see what life is really like with his fiancée, whom he proposed to two years ago.
Fred said he immediately “fell in love" with 'Fruitcake' when they first locked eyes on a busy London street back in 2018, and now they’re planning their wedding.
But in contrast to his openness while discussing love on First Dates, when it comes to his own romance he’s extremely private.
When The Sun probed to find out more about their love story, the notoriously tightlipped Frenchman says: “She’s a fun girl and she makes me laugh.
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“We just enjoy each other’s company, we enjoy walking and all sorts of stuff, like everybody else, it’s easy – very simple and very straightforward.”
One thing’s for certain, Fred definitely didn’t dole out cheesy one-liners to win her heart.
“I don’t have a chat-up line. Why would you have a chat-up line? How boring is that? You should go with the flow,” he says.
“If you’re genuine, honest and a good person at heart and you like to have fun that’s it. You don’t need a chat-up line!”
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While Fred's giving very little away about Fruitcake, there will be increased interest in their love life after their stint on Celebrity Gogglebox.
Speaking about the Channel 4 show, Fred says: “We’re really enjoying being on it, so far. It’s fun to be doing this with Fruitcake.
“There wasn’t anything particular that made us decide to do it, we just thought it would be a good idea.
“Gogglebox is one hour of pure bliss – I’m one of those people who watches it regularly and always finds something that will cheer me up.”
Fred’s life changed forever when he appeared on First Dates back in 2013.
But his fame comes with challenges, he explains, including some unusual proposals from fans – that we imagine he'd prefer Fruitcake wasn't privy to.
“I get some interesting messages on Instagram, let’s put it that way,” Fred admits coyly.
“You know, saucy things, you can imagine it’s there.”
When asked whether they were sexual, he chuckles: “That’s it. That’s it. I don’t always reply to all of my messages. I don’t need to.”
Fred's regularly approached by fans on the street too – many want a selfie and it's normally while he's eating in a restaurant.
I get some interesting messages on Instagram, let’s put it that way
However, there’s one thing that regularly shocks fans.
“They think I’m taller than I am,” he admits. “They say, ‘Oh, you’re shorter than I thought’ – what I can say to that? I’m like, ‘Sorry to disappoint you.’”
Fred is 5ft 9in, which he considers normal – he certainly wouldn't wear height-enhancing Cuban heeled shoes "like pal Gino D’Acampo".
“Definitely not!" he exclaims. "Gino wears them, I don’t.”
He's due to be reunited with the 5ft 6in Italian chef to film a new series of Gordon, Gino And Fred's Road Trip next year, despite claims they were all "too busy".
The last time Fred saw Gino, 45, was a month ago, when he cooked his "world-famous" French fries and a “delicious” curried goat.
Despite the boasts about his own food, Fred refuses to say who's the better chef out of his ITV co-stars Gino and Gordon Ramsay.
“It depends what you fancy," he says diplomatically. "Whether you fancy Italian food or something a bit more fancy… You may want Gordon’s one day and Gino’s the other."
Language of love
One thing he is certain of is when love is in the air at the First Dates restaurants, in London’s Paternoster Chop House and The Refinery in Manchester.
“You can see from a distance if a date is going well by the way they look at each other, the way they touch their hair and their body language,” Fred says.
“Dating isn’t easy but it’s not rocket science either – people have been dating for thousands of years.
“First Dates is like a nature programme. When you see David Attenborough looking at birds courting, it’s the same thing as what happens on the show – only for humans!”
First Dates is like a nature programme. When you see David Attenborough looking at birds courting, it’s the same thing as what happens on the show – only for humans!
Fred isn’t afraid to step in if he feels a date isn’t going to plan.
“Sometimes people are a bit shy and need a helping hand – if they do I’m there, but I cannot live life for these people, it’s their date,” he explains.
“It all depends on what’s happening in the restaurant, I can only interact as little or as much as they want me to, there are no set rules – they set the pace.”
Of the countless couples who appeared on the show, Fred’s favourites were dancers Frankie and Muhala, who appeared in 2015.
During their date, they discussed the aphrodisiac effects of oysters, only for Frankie to say: "They don't do that to me, olives do that for me!”
"Can we get some olives for her?" Muhala cheekily said to waitress Cici Coleman.
As their date continued, more playful comments came out including Frankie comparing their date to "a twerk" and chuckling over sexual innuendos.
Fred fondly recalls the “really flirty looks” they exchanged despite their romance being short-lived.
“It was one of the very first ones we filmed, so it was very special and they hit it off straight away,” he says. “I will always remember those flirty looks, that date was so much fun.”
First Dates fans will be relieved to know that staff genuine like each other and Fred insists they are “like family”.
“When you’re in a restaurant like ours, which is well-run, you’re like a family, it’s an extension of your own family,” he says.
“But we all have to perform and every one of us has a responsibility, we must be disciplined, motivated and keep the vision and values of the restaurant.”
Favourite English dish
During his decades in hospitality, Fred has tasted an abundance of tasty treats but says French food is still his favourite.
“It’s in my DNA and is part of my culture," he said. "I’ve been eating this food since I was a little boy when my mum would cook delicious French recipes."
Fred’s favourite dishes as steak tartare and oysters but he’s quick to point out that British food is not “bland”, as is often claimed.
“Sunday roasts are delicious, you have beautiful crumbles, toad in the hole, all of which I love and sometimes cook myself,” he says.
One of Fred’s other main passions is travelling – he’s currently partnered up with BewareOfTheBugs.com, which advises people on travel health and vaccination requirements.
Fred says: “I love going on holiday but it’s really important to make sure you have the right injections – life really is too short not to pay attention to something like this."
Fred’s been fortunate enough to avoid contracting a disease overseas but had a few bad encounters while backpacking in his twenties.
He says: “I’ve been to places where the food tastes good but their hygiene levels are dodgy – I caught a stomach bug that left me sitting on the toilet all day.”
But those experiences haven’t stopped him and like 34 per cent of the nation, he intends to tick items off his bucket list this year.
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Fred says: “I’d love to meet the gorillas in central Africa, which I’m organising, and I’d like to go to Argentina – can you imagine dancing the tango there?"
For more information on travel safety, health and vaccinations, visit: www.bewareofthebugs.com.
First Dates Fred Sirieix’s four tips for dating success
FINDING love is not always as easy at it appears, as the singletons who have appeared on First Dates will know.
But according to maitre d’ matchmaker Fred, "it's not rocket science" either, so he's given Sun readers his four top tips
1) Your expressions – You’ve got to engage with your date using eye contact and smiling is very important
2) Your attitude – You’ve got to make the effort first, it’s definitely your job to be charming and not the other way around
3) Your words – If you like somebody and you’re attracted to them, you have to tell them. How will people know you like or love them if you never say it.
4) Your love story – When you love someone you should tell them every day. You must tell them every day. It’s simple and basic but it’s key. If people know that they will reciprocate back and love will flow
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