The Version Interview... Scarlett Moffatt on the return of Channel 4's Streetmate
Dating shows are everywhere at the moment so there's no better time for Channel 4 to resurrect its classic and iconic series, Streetmate. Formerly hosted by Davina McCall, the series is to become Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt's first major solo presenting gig.
Streetmate is back! We’ve seen pictures of you pounding the streets of the UK. Have you enjoyed playing love guru?
Yes, it’s been amazing. What’s nice is because everyone these days seems to meet people on dating apps and social media you don’t get that instant spark, the butterflies anymore and I think this has definitely helped to make people feel more confident. We’ve had a lot of people that were nervous about dating and since I’ve spoken to them on the follow up, they seem a lot more confident with the whole dating scene. I’m so excited to finally see it on screen!
What’s new about Streetmate this time round? Anything you’re particularly excited about?
We’ve done follow ups with our daters weeks later so we’ve found out if they’ve been out on more dates, just been texting, or nothing at all…! There also wasn’t social media when the original Streetmate was on so people are very aware of how they act. I find dating really interesting – I didn’t actually realise how big a deal going on a date is; people get really nervous! We sent our daters on great dates, not just going for a drink. They went rock climbing, bowling and did classes like street dance and circus training.
You’ve certainly travelled all around the country. Tell us about some of the places you went.
I had such a great time. Everywhere I went everyone was so lovely. I just wish I could have spent more time in each place! In Leeds and Sheffield everyone was super friendly and smiley., In Manchester and Liverpool I lost track of the number of selfies I took, people were just so welcoming. In Cardiff and Bristol, people were beyond helpful, it was amazing. I was gutted not to be able to do any shopping in Birmingham – the shops there are incredible. I’m going to have to go back. And everywhere I went, the local police asked me for pictures – obviously, I said yes!
And we hear you set up a lovely older lady too?
Yes! I found a date for a 76-year-old called Geraldine. She wasn’t on social media… It was nice to see older women going on dates because they didn’t play it too cool, they just weren’t bothered. The man we matched her with said ‘you take my breath away.’ The younger generation were quite coy when it came to me saying ‘are you up for going on a date?’ but Geraldine was very much ‘yes, this is going to be marvellous!
Are you daunted by the prospect of filling Davina’s shoes?
Hopefully I’ll do her proud because I’ve actually had a chat with her about it and she wished me luck which was really really nice and I said I hope I don’t let her down. It’s a hard business this dating business! Love is complicated!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, I do. I believe you get an instant spark when you meet somebody. A gut feeling. I watch a lot of Disney movies so I’m bound to say that!
Dating apps seem to have taken over – what can we do to reverse the swiping trend and get back into bars and onto the streets?
A lot of my friends are on these apps and even on nights out, rather than just going up to people, they’re actually checking to see if they’re on Tinder first! There’s nothing wrong with dating apps because we all have busy lifestyles – and a lot of us lack in confidence but I think more people need to not fear rejection. If you’re swiping left, technically you’re rejecting that person but you don’t feel bad about it because it’s online. It’s the same as if someone comes up to you in a bar and they’re not really your type or vice versa. You shouldn’t see it as a personal attack. What’s the worst that could happen? That person probably wasn’t right for you anyway!
What city do you think was the most romantic? Any particularly chivalrous men out there?
We found 76-year-old Geraldine in Didsbury and matched her with a man called Jeff who was either 71 or 72 and he looked like Sean Connery!
You’ve been on the other side of the fence having been on Celebrity First Dates, did that make you empathise with some of the more nervous daters?
Yes, because you’ve got to have balls! You’ve got to be quite strong-willed to say right, I’m going to go on national TV and look for a date. I like to think it helped that I was able to say, look, I’ve been there, I’ve done that.
If you’d met your boyfriend on the street, do you think you would have matched with him?
I like to think so. I like to think we’d both agree to go on a date with each other in the middle of the street! (laughs)
Who do you think would be your fantasy Streetmate date?
I’d really like to go on a date with Stephen Hawking. I just think we’d have really good chat. I’d just like to sit and listen to him. I’d also like to match Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter and Chesney from Coronation Street. They’d make such a great couple and have the cutest babies.
How do you think you’ll feel seeing Streetmate on Gogglebox? Whose reaction do you think you’ll appreciate the most?
It’s a really nice, cute show. Everyone loves a love story, and everyone wants to know who’s getting on with who, it’s what makes the world go round. I would give it a thumbs up on Gogglebox. I can’t wait to see Leon and June’s reaction because they were got together before all the social media and dating apps so I’d like to see what would think of good old fashioned face to face dating.
Aside from Streetmate of course, what’s your favourite TV dating show?
Love Island. I loved it. I loved Kem and Amber. I feel like they went through the most.
What cult show would you like to bring back next?
I have got quite an eclectic taste in TV so I would like to bring back The Young Ones. Or Bottom.