The popular Channel 4 dating show is back for its 16th series, hoping to match strangers who might just end up falling head over heels in love.

Since First Dates first aired on our screens, we have seen singletons become a match made in heaven – as well as disaster dinners that we won’t mention.

The restaurant and its staff will have a slight mix-up, as series 16 will be filmed in Manchester – plus new waiters and waitresses are joining!

Here’s the lowdown on all the new staff members, plus who won’t be coming back for the new series. Line-up revealed below!

Cici in new Manchester Restaurant. Picture credit: Twenty Twenty/Channel4


Daniella, 25, is a waitress working in the First Dates restaurant.

From Manchester, she has worked in hospitality since her teenage years.

Having worked in many different restaurants as a waitress, as well as managing bars, Daniella has served many first daters in the past!

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David is a 28-year-old Scouser, who has worked as a host for The Ivy in London, where he regularly looked after celebrity guests.

He studied fashion design at Salford university and is currently working on launching his own fashion brand.

The First Dates waiter started his fashion journey as an intern for Vera Wang in New York – his celebrity clients included Kendall and Kylie Jenner!

Fiona Beck

Fiona is a 30-year-old bartender from Huddersfield.

She has lived in Manchester for 6 years, so she knows the area pretty well – and has experience working in bars and restaurants.

The new First Dates star will be the new bartender alongside Merlin. Aside from working in the restaurant, she works in advertising.

Cici Coleman

Waitress and actress Cici is returning for the 16th series!

She has previously starred in Red Butterfly, Essex Vendetta and Sleep.

Cici revealed she found love in 2020 after initially being banned from dating app Hinge.


Bartender Merlin is back on the show, with the help of Fiona.

When he’s not serving date-goers on First Dates, you might have seen him on James Martin’s Saturday Mornings!

He recently done a cocktails masterclass in collaboration with Tesco.

Merlin can basically be followed for all your cocktail needs, as he regularly shares recipes for drinks – such as ‘Witches Kiss’!

Fred Sirieix

Would First Dates even be the show it is without Fred?

He is the front-of-house at the First Dates restaurant, and is known for being a TV waiter and French maître d’hôtel.

The father-of-two has starred on several shows, such as BBC’s Remarkable Places to Eat and ITV’s Gordon, Gino and Fred Desperately Seeking Santa.

Who will be taking part in series 16?

Channel 4 has spent time filming dates for series 16, but they wouldn’t exist without the help of the show’s participants.

Here’s who takes part in the first episode:

Opening the series, 23-year-old parliamentary assistant Jessie goes on a date with Josh, 25, and they bond over their love of “pointless Twitter beef”.

Winston, a 69-year-old former roadie who has had Metallica round to his home, wants someone to settle down with after surviving prostate cancer.

He goes on a date with 60-year-old glamorous grandma Donna, who looks for a gentleman to save her from lonely nights in.

Kristina, a 37-year-old Lithuanian spa therapist from London, sits down for a meal with 43-year-old car salesman Billy.

Then, 32-year-old Alan from Rotherham goes on a date with 36-year-old Stephen, a casino manager who is also from Rotherham – and it looks like the pair might already know each other!

First Dates series 16: Episode guide

Each episode will be aired on Channel 4 for an hour and 5 minutes.

Airing every Tuesday at 9pm, it’s expected for last a minimum of 4 weeks, as series 15 consisted of 4 episodes in total.

Some other series have had 6 episodes, or even up to 10, so we could be in for a treat if they are anything to go by!



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