All the Best Bits of UCL Student Ben on First Dates

All the Best Bits of UCL Student Ben on First Dates

Izzy Cutts relives Ben’s amazing appearance on Channel 4’s First Dates

In case you’re unfamiliar with Channel 4’s First Dates, it’s a TV programme in which willing strangers are sent on blind dates in London’s own Paternoster Chop House. Now in its fourth series, it’s a Gogglebox and Twitter favourite, and well known for the unpredictable characters it attracts.

You can only imagine the excitement when, last night, UCL Philosophy student Ben Hiam appeared on the show. There were some incredible revelations, some seriously ridiculous facial expressions and some cracking Twitter reactions. So here’s what you missed…

There was a lot of tension while we waited for Ben to appear on the screen as the charming French maître d’ purred about love over a jazzy music montage.

But then look who appeared…


…and in just a few short seconds the nation was captured.


In the infamous chat with the First Dates barman, we learned of Ben’s love for musical theatre (big up UCLUMT), which would become a theme for the evening. He also revealed his other passion…


Then it was time to meet Ben’s date Chloe.


She also liked dressing up – Ben appeared to be in luck. We learned that she liked baking and studied Psychology at Sheffield: nail-biting stuff.

Ben mentioned UCL and swiftly joined the ranks of our university’s greats, like Jeremy Bentham, and GBBO’s Ruby Tandoh. She quickly mentioned Sheffield, and Ben came out with this Twitter-bait, which was the end of part one:



When we returned, Ben and Chloe were ordering some drinks.


They discussed Ben’s love of cheesy music and One Direction (the big issues) and Chloe was loving it.

Ben pulled this face…


And then said this, which we will just brush over…


Following an intense discussion about 1D – people think Harry is the best singer but actually it was Zayn, who is a dark and brooding bad boy – Ben acknowledged there may be some doubt about his sexuality.


And Twitter was loving it…

11116542_10154294156048222_6270127620753050465_nWhile Chloe seemed mildly concerned, she was not altogether put off. After a brief interlude while other daters were introduced (yawn yawn), Chloe hit back with this suspiciously leading question…


And then Ben casually mentioned his penchant for cross-dressing.


Then Chloe asked the dumbest question we’ve ever heard.


To which Ben gave the sassiest comeback.


Then the world learned of the beauty and wonderfulness that is Ben’s drag persona.


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As Chloe began to warm to the idea, Twitter had mixed reactions. Unfortunately, Channel 4 couldn’t spell ‘Benjina’ correctly (I mean, really!):

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Chloe didn’t seem entirely convinced – at this point, those of us playing ‘drink when it’s surreal’ had been waterfalling for quite some time – but fortunately we were saved from the awkward silence by the adverts.

Back to Part 3 and we were treated to a classic First Dates phone call with fellow Philosophy final year and Ben’s flatmate, Heather, who seemed more concerned with what the restaurant was like and how Ben was enjoying the food than how the date was going.


Ben returned to the table and tried to justify his revelation with these fab faces. Cross-dressing is a costume just like putting on a character in a play, or at Halloween.


Which actually seemed to work.

Then it was time to discuss the date.


So in love, they were absolutely besotted.

She even got a glimpse of the Benjina, but not before another classic innuendo from Ben.


And then we got the happy ending we had been waiting for.




Ben, you did UCL proud. Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thing. #Benjina4Sabb ??

Featured image credit: Channel 4

Other image credits: Channel 4, Ben Hiam

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