First Dates Staff: Bet You Don't Know These Secrets Know About Them

By Angie

15th February 2019

First Dates Staff: Bet You Don’t Know These 10 Secrets About Them

We personally wouldn’t mind a meal with the First Dates staff… especially after these juicy secrets have been spilled over a nice glass of vino!

We have absolutely fallen in love with watching those seriously awkward encounters that come with the blind dates territory. Some of us have even applied to the show… (Or got a dating app.)

Down in Central London at the Paternoster Chop House, these guys bring a good 50% of the entertainment. Without a doubt the staff on First Dates make the show!

So what do we know about waiters Sam Conrad and Austin Ventour, waitresses Cici Coleman and Laura Tott, barman Merlin Griffiths and obviously maitre d’ Fred?

1. First Dates staff member Laura Tott Used To Be In The Royal Navy Prior to applying for this role in First Dates. Laura was actually a member of the Royal Navy, once saying how much she learnt and how much she loved it.

Image Source/ Instagram

2. Merlin Griffiths Used To Be A Global Brand Ambassador For Bombay Sapphire Gin

This man has the magic touch when it comes to making cocktails. His duty is to greet the nervous, unlucky-in-love first daters and get them a nice bev to calm the nerves.

Merlin First Dates Staff giving a talk from when he was a global ambassador for Bombay Sapphire
Merlin giving a talk from when he was a global ambassador for Bombay Sapphire.

Image Source/ Flickr

Outside of First Dates, he is a pub landlord and has previous travelled around the world working for Bombay Sapphire.

3. Sam Conrad And CiCi Coleman Are Actually Actors

Unlike Fred Sirieix, Laura Tott and Austin Ventour, the other First Dates staff members, Sam Conrad and CiCi Coleman, actually have no experience in the hospitality industry…

Image Source/ Twitter

They were both hired as actors to pretend. They certainly fooled us…

4. Waiter Sam Conrad Actually Revealed That He Ended Up Dating A Singleton From The Show For A While

Millie was on her date whilst Sam was her waiter. Following the date, she decided that it wasn’t successful and that she didn’t want to see the boy again.


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A post shared by Sam Conrad (@loupdiloup) on

Image Source/ Instagram

Instead, she got the hots for Sam Conrad. Lucky for him, she went back into the restaurant after the date to give him her number

5. Fred Found A New Love After Splitting With Partner Of 12 Years!

As much as we all would love a slice of this French cake, he is sadly taken. This bearded, love-guru is happily loved up with his new partner.


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Good times ☀️🇯🇲 #fruitcake 🍫❤️

A post shared by Fred Sirieix (@fred_sirieix) on

Image Source/ Instagram

Fred was with ex-partner Alex for 12 years before their split last year, having two children together and is now super happy with his ‘fruitcake’.

6. Despite Being Hit On Throughout The Show, Laura Tott Is Actually Really Loved Up With Her Hunky Boyfriend

Despite some cringey boys hitting on Laura in the First Dates restaurant, she doesn’t need to find herself a spot on the show.


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Had the most perfect day at the wedding ❤️

A post shared by Laura Nicole Tott (@lauratott__) on

Image Source/ Instagram

7. Merlin Owns His Own Bar And Restaurant

Merlin grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and attended a grammar school. His work took him all around the world, even spending a time in India.

Image Source/ Instagram

Alongside working as the main bar man in the First Dates restaurant, he owns his own bar and restaurant in North-West London; The Prior Tavern.

8. Will They, Won’t They?

Following the First Dates Christmas special we were all ridiculously excited at the prospects of First Dates staff CiCi and Sam Conrad getting together.

Sam And Cici First Dates Staff at Christmas recreating the scene with the large posters from Love Actually
Sam And Cici on a Christmas episode of First Dates recreating the scene with the large posters from Love Actually.

Image Source/ Cosmopolitan

Sadly, we can confirm that their relationship hasn’t progressed any further – much to our dismay.

9. Merlin Met His Wife At A Cocktail Competition!

He met his other half at a cocktail competition over more than a decade ago. Amazingly, he managed to win the whole competition and bag himself the woman of his dreams all at the same time.


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No time for messing around! @Firstdates tonight 10pm x 💝

A post shared by Merlin Griffiths (@merlinfdc4) on

Image Source/ Instagram 

10. Fred Sirieix Is EXTREMELY Into His Fitness

If we needed any more reasons to fall in love with the First Dates staff member – which we definitely didn’t because of his French accent and face carved by angels – he is a boxer who is seriously ripped.

Image Source/ Instagram

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