“Why are you sending him home?” said the gushing lady TV presenter.
“He’s got this dodgy looking penis. I just don’t like the look of it.”
“You’re chucking him off the show just because he’s got a wonky willy?”
And so, thus humiliated, I walked around the screen and appeared on the stage of the TV show completely naked, clasped the fully-clothed Alison briefly, and did my exiting walk of shame, knowing that my jiggling buttocks would be centre screen, and my nickname at work for the next few weeks was going to be Wonky Willy.
I realised what a mistake I had made by appearing on Get Your Kit Off, the TV dating show where contestants are exposed in various stages of nakedness for a person of the opposite sex to choose who they fancy least until they’re only left with one. I was the first one of the six of us hopeful lads to be booted off the show.
Okay, I admit it was humiliating, but I had got the bug. So when I applied for Grab a Date, Mate I realised that at last the odds were stacked in my favour. This is a show where about twenty-five attractive thirtyish girls stand behind a long desk and in front of each of them is a lightbulb that’s switched on. One man is presented to them and whichever of the girls don’t fancy him, they switch off their lights. When just a few lights remain alight, the man himself is allowed to switch off the lights of the girls he doesn’t fancy, until the choice is whittled down to one, with whom he goes out on a date.
I couldn’t fail with this, I thought. I appeared on the stage in front of the girls, and I knew that I was dressed to kill. I’m actually colour blind, but my friend assured me that a bright canary yellow shirt with luminous green trousers was a winning combination, so I could rest assured on that score – I know that girls always notice men’s clothes.
Which made it so strange that five lights went out as soon as I set foot on the stage.
I had to do some kind of party piece to show off my skills, so I decided to do a Scottish Highlands sword dance, that my grandfather had taught me. Since health and safety regulations in the studio wouldn’t allow us to lay real swords on the floor, dancing in between crossed broom handles whilst singing Scotland the Brave, might have looked a bit silly, but at least I was showing that I was a good sport.
Unfortunately a good many more lights went out after that.
Then came the video that I had recorded earlier on, which was screened on the wall behind me. My friend told everyone about my hobby, which is collecting old railway tickets, and how I give lectures on the history of the railways to historical organisations, and have a collection of over 8000 used railway tickets in my garden shed, each of them carefully labelled with a date and place. Whichever lucky girl I chose to go on a date with would be given a long guided tour of my ticket collection.
More lights went out.
Then my audience were told of my other achievements: that I had been tiddlywinks champion for Leighton Buzzard for three years running.
More lights went out.
I had explained that my career was in the travel industry. I decided it was best to be honest, and so when I told them, that I was actually a member of the team who clean the toilets at Newport Pagnell Motorway Services, to my dismay, all but on one light went out.
I looked across at the only remaining girl. Rosemary was well over six feet tall, had a huge nose, a squint and the beginnings of a moustache. Returning my gaze, making her squint even more apparent as she stared into my eyes, she deliberately switched off her light.
My final foray into the world of TV dating was Love is Blind. Again, I thought the odds were in my favour, since three girls were behind a screen, so we couldn’t see each other. I had to ask the girls various questions and, according to their answers, the girls were whittled down to just one, with whom I would go out on a date.
Everything went well. Sharon, the girl I had chosen, appeared to me as the screen went down. She was gorgeous! Spectacularly beautiful, with long blonde hair and an angelic smile. I realised that at long last I had cracked it.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at the venue for our date, a nearby nightclub, Sharon never turned up. Apparently she had told the producer that she’d rather lose her fee for appearing on the show than spend an evening with ‘That pillock’.
But all was not lost, as I found out a year later, when I got a phone call out of the blue.
“Hello Gordon, this is Alison – do you remember me from the Get Your Kit Off show?”
“Oh yes,” I replied. “You rejected me.”
“That was before I saw your face,” she went on. “You’ve got a lovely face, which of course I hadn’t been able to see when I rejected you. I really regretted not choosing you, but it was too late to change my mind. The guy I ended up going out with, Alan, well he was okay, we had a thing for a while but it’s over now. So, Gordon, well, I wondered if you’d like to meet up?”
“Yes,” I said eagerly. “Terrific.”
“There just one little thing,” she went on. “Do you remember me saying on the show that I had a bit of a bad temper?”
“Yes, you said you sometimes flew into uncontrollable rages. Don’t tell me—you had a huge row with Alan.”
“Yes, I did. But I’m afraid that in the heat of the moment I somehow ended up picking up this hammer and smashing it into his face. I’m in what’s called a hospital for the criminally insane at the minute. So how about if I fill in a visiting order for you?”