4th November 2006
Natalie Cassidy, 23. Born in London, now
lives in Hertfordshire.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders’ Sonia Fowler (for 13 years),
occasional lesbian and ex-wife of Martin.

PREVIOUS FORM: Anna Scher drama school, where she was
spotted for EastEnders.

HOBBIES: Singing and travelling – she did a one-off
show called Natalie Cassidy Goes Wild in Australia.

WILL IT WORK? I’ve known Natalie for years, as we
share the same agent and bump into each other at
awards’ parties. The good news about this is that it
means neither of us ever has to buy drinks, as they
give it away by the bucketful at these events. Even if
I had to pay, Natalie would be a cheap night out, as I
have never seen her drunk. We would also have lots to
talk about, as I am keen to discuss her much
publicised breast implants, which presumably prevent
her from going running. Great. Another friend for whom
exercise is out of the question.

21st October 2006
Joe Gilgun, 22. Born and grew up in
Adlington, where he still lives, as well as in Leeds.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s rough diamond, Eli Dingle,
whom he has been playing for four months.

PREVIOUS FORM: Attended small drama school in Salford.
Played Jamie Armstrong in Coronation Street, 1994-7.

HOBBIES: Movies, live gigs, hanging out with friends
at home.

WILL IT WORK? If Joseph had more time, he would, he
says, join a gym and get fit. Music to my ears. If I
had more time, I would join a gym, too. Or if I could
be bothered. I love the “If” word that prevents one
from doing so much in life. At least our arms will get
plenty of exercise, as Joseph enjoys drinking
champagne (I find lifting two magnums at a time is
particularly good for the pectorals) and cutting into
rare steak. I prefer mine well done, but either way,
one man’s meat is another man’s exercise.

14th October 2006
Paul O’Brien, 28. Born in South Africa;
grew up on Australia’s Gold Coast. Currently lives at
Manly Beach.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s copper, Jack Holden.
Boyfriend of Martha, whose teeth require him to go
everywhere with an armed guard.

PREVIOUS FORM: One man show, MC, cleaner. Got into
acting after taking courses.

HOBBIES: Playing the guitar, going to shows.

WILL IT WORK? Great - nothing too energetic in Paul’s
life. Apart from strumming a few chords (and even I
can manage that), he is very laid back, enjoying
hanging out “here, there and everywhere” and going to
lots of barbecues with his mates. He enjoys drinking
beer, but also consumes a lot of water (“Not so heavy
on the Evian for me, barman!”) and presumably does so
in the company of lots of other young men of his age.
I wish I’d realised how gorgeous men of 28 were when I
was of an age when I could have pulled them.

7th October 2006
Gerard McCarthy, 25. Born and grew up in
Belfast. Currently lives both in Belfast and

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ cross-dresser Kris Fisher.

PREVIOUS FORM: Laine Theatre Arts school, Epsom. West
End musicals, including Mama Mia and Saturday Night

HOBBIES: Theatre, playing the guitar.

WILL IT WORK? Despite enjoying hanging out in bars and
clubs, Gerard does not drink, so he would be a cheap
date (the downside being that he might expect me to be
one, too. Tough. I’m not) and would also be able to
drive me home. He is very amusing company (unlike
people who drink, who simply think that they are) and
I like the fact that he keeps his feet on the ground
by maintaining ties to his homeland. He is also a
fantastically talented actor, although I’m not sure I
would want to be seen out with him if he were dressed
in character. Not least because he might be wearing my

23rd September 2006
Lynne McGranger. Born and grew up in
Sydney, where she still lives with her partner Paul
and daughter Clancy.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Irene Roberts. Just
discovered her lover Barry is a murderer.

PREVIOUS FORM: Cabaret, stand up comedy, plays, short

HOBBIES: Reading, walking, socialising with friends
and family; also does volunteer work for local
community radio station.

WILL IT WORK? Lynne’s love of hanging out at her local
coffee and cake haunt doesn’t bode well: I don’t drink
coffee and don’t eat sweet things. I really can’t see
me diving into one of the soy cappuccinos of which she
is so fond. I’m also less than thrilled at the
prospect of hanging out at netball courts, where she
goes with her daughter. However, she is a very
sociable person, and barbecues and dinners with
friends feature high on her list of social activities.
My real worry is how many air miles will be swallowed
up when I visit her.

16th September 2006
Kent Riley, 22. Born in Liverpool, where he
still lives with his parents.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Zak Barnes, returning for
second college year. Previously left under a cloud
after bedding both Lisa Hunter and Zara Morgan.

PREVIOUS FORM: Film and TV, including Footballers’
Wives. Has just completed degree at the Liverpool
Institute of Performing Arts.

HOBBIES: Playing and watching football (he supports
Liverpool), film, music, seeing friends.

WILL IT WORK? I am optimistic about the lively bar
scene in Liverpool, where Kent likes to hang out –
News Bar, Babyblue Bar – and I will happily wait for
him there while he goes to watch his beloved Liverpool
(unless he can introduce me to some hunky players, in
which case I will go with him). I also like the fact
that he is a fan of his mum’s cooking, so presumably
my days of doing my own Sunday roast, with my single
chicken leg marooned in my vast oven, are over.

9th September 2006
Kerry Stacy. Born and grew up in
Nottingham. Now lives in Leeds and London.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Toni Daggert.

PREVIOUS FORM: Began acting career with the Carlton TV
workshop at the age of 12 – when local dance classes
thought she was too loud, fat and common! Their loss.

HOBBIES: Exercising, eating, singing, theatre, live
bands, spending time with family and friends.

WILL IT WORK? Kerry is a lively, fun person, but I
think I might have to be a friend on a leash for some
of the time – i.e. she will have to drag me to her
exercise sessions and, even harder, drag me to the
theatre (unless they introduce fast forward). I can
certainly indulge in her love of garlic mussels, which
she currently enjoys from Morrisons, although I am not
sure whether we will be able to go on much of a
pulling spree if we are stinking of garlic. Still:
hasn’t stopped me before.

19th August 2006
Rhys Wakefield, 17. Born in Cairns in QLD Australia. Now living in Sydney with his family.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Lucas Holden. Lives with Beth Hunter.

PREVIOUS FORM: Attended performance and academic high school, the McDonald College. Has worked for Australia Ballet.

HOBBIES: Movies, hanging out with friends, travel, cooking, drawing, and making home movies.

WILL IT WORK? I’d like to know a bit more about those home movies before committing myself, although, being only 17, Rhys’s efforts are probably quite innocent. He also has a wide range of interests for such a young man, thankfully none of them too strenuous. When he’s cooking (like me, he loves Indian curries), I can sit and watch; when he’s drawing, I can help myself to the beer in the fridge; and when he’s filming the home movies, I can encourage his young male friends to take their vests off, just as they do in the show.

12th August 2006
REAL LIFE: Bradley Walsh. Born in Watford. Currently
lives in Chigwell with wife Donna and two children.

CURRENT FORM: Coronation Street’s Danny Baldwin. Son
of Mike and ex-husband of Frankie.

PREVIOUS FORM: Professional footballer with Brentford.
Host of Wheel of Fortune and the National Lottery,
plus numerous TV and film acting roles.

HOBBIES: TV, football, golf, tennis, and spending time
with family and friends.

WILL IT WORK? The football interest (Bradley supports
Arsenal) is a bit off-putting, and all that golf and
tennis sounds a bit on the energetic side. But Bradley
is an amiable, social kind of bloke, and if I pour
enough of his favourite tipples (gin and whisky) down
his neck, I am sure that he will soon forego his golf
club for the TV remote. We also have some musical
tastes in common – most notably, Robbie Williams – and
Bradley will be easy to feed, as he enjoys just about
everything: especially Magnums. Weird.

5th August 2006
Sharni Vinson, 22. Born in Sydney, grew up
in Cronulla, where she still lives with members of her
extended family.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Cassie Turner,
ex-girlfriend of Ric Dalby.

PREVIOUS FORM: Singing and dancing in various shows.

HOBBIES: Getting away to the country to relax amongst
beautiful scenery. Also, walking on the beach with her

WILL IT WORK? Phew. All that walking sounds a bit on
the energetic side for my liking, but given that
Sharni has just two breaks from the show a year and
enjoys hanging out at home, that still sounds like a
lot of sofa time, which is a relief. Sharni enjoys
“putting on a good song” and choreographing some
steps, so I feel some good karaoke evenings could be
on the cards - provided that I do not have to get off
the sofa for too long. The healthy eating part of her
lifestyle bodes ill.

29th July 2006
Jo Joyner. Born in Essex. Currently lives
with actor Neil Madden in London.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders’ Tanya Branning. Wife of Max
and owner of revamnped nail bar.

PREVIOUS FORM: Welsh College of Music and Drama,
Clocking Off, No Angels.

HOBBIES: Pilates (for her back), pampering herself,
music (especially old soul singers), going out with

WILL IT WORK? Thankfully, Jo lacks the willpower to do
much exercise, so that is something we will be able to
share when we go out with the girls for very long
lunches. I won’t be joining her in her Pilates
sessions, as I tried it once and it nearly killed me.
I will happily engage in the pampering bit. Jo’s ideal
day would be a massage, followed by reflexology and –
inevitably, another long lunch with the girls. Jo
enjoys a boozy one, but she also recommends lots of
water and a decent night’s sleep. I’ll be staying out
for a little bit longer.

22nd July 2006
Amy Mathews. Born in Melbourne. Currently lives inner west of Sydney with her boyfriend.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Dr Rachel Armstrong. Has just decided to risk her career to be with Kim.

PREVIOUS FORM: Drama school, followed by television, film, and independent theatre, touring Shakespeare.

HOBBIES: Theatre: in particular Sydney’s independent scene.

WILL IT WORK? I’m not sure about all those trips to the theatre; in my experience, any “independent” theatre involves many long, tedious hours looking at people’s heads sticking out of pots and listening to them spout gibberish (anyone seen that Becket?). I also would not be able to share Amy’s love of Japanese food, as I hate fish. She enjoys socialising out and about, though, which is very good news, and enjoys a variety of drinks – either a gin and tonic or a pint of Kilkenny. Our friendship would also give me chance to meet the gorgeous Chris Hemsworth who plays Kim, her onscreen lover.

15th July 2006
Award winning Mark Charnock. Born in
Bolton. Currently lives in North Yorkshire.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Marlon Dingle. Emotional
chef, recently married Donna Windsor. First wife
Tricia tragically died.

PREVIOUS FORM: Drama degree Hull University. Webber
Douglas Drama School, London.

HOBBIES: Football (season ticket at Old Trafford),
cricket, film, and writing supernatural/ghost stories.

WILL IT WORK? Mark is one of the brightest, funniest
and most talented people in the business. Despite the
fact that I have to stand on two boxes to talk to him,
I think we could be very good friends. When he goes
off to watch the football, I could raid his DVD
collection, which is enormous. Then we could hit the
town in one of the many restaurants he hugely enjoys –
Room, Anthony’s or Hotel du Vin. Oh, what the heck,
let’s do the three in one night. Mark enjoys white
wine and is very open to trying new experiences. Let’s
hope that includes short, Welsh, plump birds.

8th July 2006
Tim Campbell, 30. Born in Camden, rural
outskirts of Sydney. Now living closer to the city.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Dan Baker. Married to,
but separated from, Leah.

PREVIOUS FORM: Career took off at 22 with a lead role
in Big Sky.

HOBBIES: Owing to work commitments, mainly relaxing at
home with a DVD and good wine.

WILL IT WORK? The good news is, as Tim points out, he
has some things in common with his character – “6’ 2”,
funny, with dashing good looks.” Luckily, he does not
share the gambling addiction. Inevitably, the fact
that Tim likes to hang out at home, watching films and
drinking wine, is going to appeal to me hugely;
likewise, his enjoyment of “board game and wine
nights” and his three “musts” every week – chocolate,
white wine and Thai food. Spot any themes here? Maybe
we could just hook ourselves up to the vine and have
done with the middle man.

1st July 2006
REAL LIFE: Beverley Callard. Born in Leeds. Currently
lives in Bolton with partner Steven and son Josh. Also
has daughter Rebecca from first marriage.

CURRENT FORM: Coronation Street’s Liz McDonald. Always
in danger of catching a chill in her very skimpy

PREVIOUS FORM: Acting debut at the age of seven; also
worked as a shorthand typist before turning to acting
full time.

HOBBIES: Making very successful fitness videos: so
far, Real Results and Rapid Results. Also, singing.

WILL IT WORK? Absolutely, just so long as I do not
have to work out to the videos and wear a leotard. I
wouldn’t mind having a singalong, though. Just over a
week ago, Liz performed a highly successful guest spot
in my favourite club and bar in Marbella, The Edge, in
Puerto Banus, which is also the hangout for many other
soap stars. I foresee many more Costa del Sol-based
fun nights, although I am not sure I will be making
too many trips north to Bolton.

24th June 2006
Anthony Quinlan, 21. Born in Salford, grew
up in Wigan. Now lives in Monton, just outside

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Gilly Roach, whom he has been playing since July 2005.

PREVIOUS FORM: Studied at City College, Manchester.
Hollyoaks is his first major role.

HOBBIES: Watching and playing football, Manchester
bars, having his mates round to his newly bought

What is it about football and these young guys
(although perhaps this is the wrong part of history to
be asking that)? They are all into it, and I feel I am
destined to be a soccer widow – albeit one without
Victoria Beckham’s money. Anthony sounds like a very
easy-going kind of lad, enjoying “anything and
everything” in the food and drink department, which
might make him a very cheap night out (“Pint of tap
water it is, then” – sorry, mate, it was you who said
you enjoyed anything). Mine’s still a champagne,

17th June 2006
Kate Ritchie, 27. Born in rural New South
Wales. Now lives by herself in the Eastern Suburbs of

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Sally Fletcher, whom she has been playing since 1987.

PREVIOUS FORM: Acting since joining a children’s
agency at the age of six, when she landed a part in an
Australian mini-series called Cyclone Tracy.

HOBBIES: Cooking and gathering up goods from homeware
stores to furnish her “nest”. Also, walking on the

WILL IT WORK? Of course – so long as the walks are
quite short ones. I might still just go to the bar
instead, though, and test the frozen margaritas. I
like the homely side of Kate extremely and just pray
that she does not have a multi-gym lurking in the
garage. She is a fun-loving person and not averse to a
gin and tonic (I’m really hoping she did not say gym
and tonic) and champagne. Definitely a friend for the

10th June 2006
Steve McFadden. Born in Maida Vale, London. Grew up in Harlesden. Currently lives in north London.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders’ hard man Phil Mitchell. Former husband of recently deceased Kathy; father of non-hard boy, Ben.

RADA trained. TV before EastEnders (which he joined in 1990) includes The Bill and Minder.

HOBBIES: Mainly sailing and fishing from his boat in Majorca.

WILL IT WORK? I have known and admired Steve for years, and those feelings just grow and grow, the more I hear about his boat. Despite the fact that I get a bit seasick, I feel I can overcome this - purely in the name of research, you understand. I’m not sure about the fishing part of his life, as the closest I get to anything with fins is a fish finger; but then every time I am around Steve, I am too excited to eat, as I am far too busy telling how much I like him to think of anything else.

3rd June 2006

Verity Rushworth, 20. Born in Bradford, grew up in Leeds, where she currently lives with her parents.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Donna Windsor-Dingle.
PREVIOUS FORM: Theatre school at three. One episode of Heartbeat, followed by Emmerdale, where she has been for eight years.
HOBBIES: Loves the stage and has just completed a three year diploma in musical theatre.

WILL IT WORK? Verity is full of passion for her work, but also finds time to enjoy nights on the town with the Emmerdale girls, which is tough going. Having once survived a long night out with them myself in Leeds, I know how tiring that can be, but the promise of more fun is very enticing. Being largely vegetarian, I’m not sure how I would survive sitting opposite Verity tucking into fillet steak and onion rings, which is her favourite meal, but doubtless after a couple of bottles of rose (which she also enjoys), I would get used to it.

27th May 2006
Kellie Shirley. Born in Croydon; currently lives in Crystal Palace with her boyfriend.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders’ feisty Carly Wicks, female component to this very welcome new branch of the family.

PREVIOUS FORM: Theatre, film; TV includes Murder City and The Office.

HOBBIES: Dancing, supporting Crystal Palace, theatre. Also an ambassador for Mencap.

WILL IT WORK? Hey! Crystal Palace! I know Simon Jordan, who owns the club, so I foresee many pleasurable nights on his boat in Spain (not that I have ever been on it, but the glamorous Kellie might be my meal ticket). Kellie is great fun and clearly enjoys mixing with people; she especially likes summer barbecues, so will doubtless be able to introduce me to many men not averse to taking their shirts off and saying “Ribs all round, girls?” She also enjoys going out with her brother, who is apparently a great source of entertainment. It just gets better and better.

20th May 2006
Chris Fountain, 18. Born and grew up in Bradford. Now lives in Leeds.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Justin Burton. Passionate young schoolboy lover of Becca Dean, wife of Jake.

PREVIOUS FORM: Child actor in Les Misérables. TV includes A & E, The Royal and Where The Heart Is.

HOBBIES: Playing and watching football (Liverpool supporter), playing golf, music.

WILL IT WORK? Despite the energetic nature of some of Chris’s activities (I will again be taking up my role on the après-golf, après-soccer sidelines), the good news is that he also likes to chill out in front of the television. We also have similar tastes in food — namely, hot stuff (Nando’s — spicy chicken is a favourite of his). Just like me, he also enjoys his Evian water served at room temperature and, having played Justin, will have had plenty of experience practising on the older woman — although quite how old he wants to go is another matter.

REAL LIFE: Nick Brimble. Born and grew up in Bristol;
currently lives in London.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Terence Turner. Alcoholic,
abusive relationship with sister, Steph.

PREVIOUS FORM: Little John in Robin Hood, Prince of

HOBBIES: Gardening, football. Season ticket holder at
West Ham.

WILL IT WORK? I’m not a big football fan – not since
Eric Cantona stopped playing, anyway – and I can’t see
myself hanging out on the terraces at West Ham very
often. Heck, I don’t even know where West Ham is
(although I think they play in a sort of hideous
maroon colour that makes them look like over-ripe
aubergines). The good news, though, is that Nick
travels to Rome a lot. Anywhere in Europe (West Ham
aside) is all right by me, and I might be able to
shift Nick’s attention away from football and more
towards rugby: in particular, that gorgeous Six
Nations team. Nick says he likes an Italian. Don’t we

1st April 2006
REAL LIFE: Matt di Angelo, 18. Born in North London.
Currently lives with his mother and sister.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders’ Deano Wicks. Son of Kevin
and, like his dad, a bit of a chancer.

PREVIOUS FORM: Sylvia Young Stage School from 13-16;
then CBBC drama I Dream, S Club.

HOBBIES: Supporting Arsenal, playing pool and music.

WILL IT WORK? Landing the EastEnders role so soon
after drama school is an indication of Matt’s talent,
and he has quickly settled into the Square. His heavy
workload probably doesn’t leave him much time for
hanging out with older women, and I might have trouble
keeping up with the lads with whom he loves to
socialise (but I’ll give it a try). I’ll have to say
no to the sushi he loves, but yes to the Mexican and
Italian. Food, that is; not blokes. On second
thoughts, let’s not burn all my bridges. I’ll sit the
clubbing part of his schedule out, too.

25th March 2006
Daniel Brocklebank, 26. Born in
Warwickshire; currently splits his time between Leeds
and Chiswick.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Ivan Jones. Bisexual, on/off
love interest of gay Paul.

PREVIOUS FORM: Has been an actor since the age of 15,
when he landed the lead in the RSC production of Lord
of the Flies.

HOBBIES: Has been a regular frequenter of the gym
since he gave up smoking at Christmas. Also loves
reading: in particular, crime fiction.

WILL IT WORK? Daniel sings and plays the piano, which
will be very handy for my karaoke evenings at home –
events I will be planning as a means of going to the
gym with him. I like the fact that he is very down to
earth and avoids pretentious, flashy bars, enjoying a
night in with a takeaway and a bottle of wine as much
as a night out. The downside is that he loves seafood.
I foresee many nights of food poisoning ahead.

18th March 2006
Dan O’Connor, 27. Born in Campbelltown,
Western Sydney. Now lives in Melbourne with flatmate,

CURRENT FORM: Neighbours’ Ned Parker. Genuine, naive,

PREVIOUS FORM: Finalist in the second series of
Australian Idol.

HOBBIES: Going to the beach, sport, eating, partying

WILL IT WORK? Apart from the sport bit, which sounds a
bit too demanding, absolutely yes. I like the sound of
“beach, eat, party”; I also like the sound of 27. Dan
is a down-to-earth, funny guy, who, although being in
Neighbours, says that if he had more time he would
like to learn to act. He is also, thankfully, not a
fussy eater and will consume anything. He is not,
however, a big drinker, so maybe I will be spending
less time in beach bars and more on a surfboard (yeah,
right). He also likes hanging out with friends. Great.
Many more 27 year old friends, perhaps. Light the
barbie; Qantas here I come.

11th March 2006
Carley Stenson, 23. Born in Billinge, a
village between Liverpool and Manchester, where she
still lives.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Steph Dean. Feisty, funny and
very determined, though has a tendency to walk over
people to get what she wants.

PREVIOUS FORM: Has been working professionally since
taking her A Levels.

HOBBIES: Music, singing and dancing.

WILL IT WORK? Many of Carley’s friends have gone to
Australia, so she is on the hunt for a new best
friend. She is also keen to learn Spanish, which I am
already doing, so I envisage many tapas-filled
evenings saying “Una gallon Rioja, por favor!” to
handsome signors in tight trousers and boleros. Carley
enjoys a glass of red wine, although she doesn’t drink
too much, as it dries out the vocal chords. She might
therefore be a good influence. On the other hand, I
might just take the view that her abstinence means
that there is more for me.

4th March 2006
Alex Carter, 23. Born in Bolton; now lives
in Leeds.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s James Hope. Like his dad,
Bob, a bit of a cheeky chappie.

PREVIOUS FORM: Where the Heart Is, Coronation Street
(one line!) and Hollyoaks.

HOBBIES: Football (Oldham Athletic), cinema and music
– especially going to gigs.

WILL IT WORK? Alex is one of the most talented people
in the business, very personable and very funny.
Hollyoaks’ loss is Emmerdale’s gain, and Alex is
someone for whom it would be worth braving the
unreliable Virgin trains north. As he has just tried
the veggie mince Quorn for the first time, I can make
him my special Bolognese sauce and he can invite round
some of his fit young mates to share it, too. He might
need a bit of educating in the wine department,
though, as he enjoys bitter shandy (let’s hope they
knock that habit out of him in the Dales), gin and
tonic, or JD and Coke.

25th February 2006
Vicky Binns, 23. Born in Manchester, where
she now lives part-time there, part-time Leeds.

CURRENT FORM: Coronation Street’s Molly Compton.
Flirty, good fun, but a bit of a stirrer.

PREVIOUS FORM: Children’s Ward and Emmerdale (a long
stint as Ollie Reynolds).

HOBBIES: Loves the cinema and has recently taken up

WILL IT WORK? Like her character, Vicky is great fun.
She was fabulous in Emmerdale and it’s great to see
her in Corrie. If she wants to be my NBF, however, she
will have to change her taste in wine. I’m happy with
the pinot grigio she likes, but she also loves Ernest
and Gallo. I would have to be in a coma and drip-fed
before touching a drop of the stuff again. Like me,
Vicky is mainly vegetarian, and she also enjoys
cooking. She has just returned from Hong Kong, so if
she has brought me a nice present, I am very
optimistic for our future.

18th February 2006
Louis Tamone, 24. Born in Oxford, currently
lives in Stoke Poges, near Slough, with his mother.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Sam Ryan. One-time friend of
rapist Andy; now dating Sophie.

PREVIOUS FORM: Mainly plays and musical theatre,
including Blood Brothers and Sunset Boulevard.

HOBBIES: Cinema, snooker, climbing and football (he’s
an Arsenal supporter). Also plays for Nick Picard’s
Hollyoaks team (Nick plays Tony).

WILL IT WORK? Louis is a bit on the active side for
me, and, being an après-ski, après-climb,
après-football (you get the picture) kind of girl, I
might have to sit on the sidelines too often. However,
there is good news when he joins me for the après
bits, as he likes most foods and is also partial to
red Rioja, which is my favourite. He is also hoping to
learn Spanish (I have just started), as his mum is
fluent. I feel many tapas nights and Rioja-fuelled
language lessons ahead. Hola!

11th February 2006
Louis Tamone, 24. Born in Oxford, currently
lives in Stoke Poges, near Slough, with his mother.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Sam Ryan. One-time friend of
rapist Andy; now dating Sophie.

PREVIOUS FORM: Mainly plays and musical theatre,
including Blood Brothers and Sunset Boulevard.

HOBBIES: Cinema, snooker, climbing and football (he’s
an Arsenal supporter). Also plays for Nick Picard’s
Hollyoaks team (Nick plays Tony).

WILL IT WORK? Louis is a bit on the active side for
me, and, being an après-ski, après-climb,
après-football (you get the picture) kind of girl, I
might have to sit on the sidelines too often. However,
there is good news when he joins me for the après
bits, as he likes most foods and is also partial to
red Rioja, which is my favourite. He is also hoping to
learn Spanish (I have just started), as his mum is
fluent. I feel many tapas nights and Rioja-fuelled
language lessons ahead. Hola!

4th February 2006
Lyn Collingwood. Grew up eastern suburbs of
Sydney; now lives in Glebe, west side.

CURRENT FORM: Home and Away’s Colleen Smart. Lovable
busybody. One-time best friend of verbally challenged
child Max.

PREVIOUS FORM: English and drama at University of
Sydney, followed by theatre, commercials and Aussie

HOBBIES: Directing plays, and spending time with
grandson, Max (spooky!).

WILL IT WORK? Lyn is a fan of London’s Covent Garden
Hotel, where she stayed when visiting Britain; it
happens to be my favourite in the capital, too. Also
like me, Lyn is an advocate of the ABC school of
wine-tasting (Anything But Chardonnay); however, our
food tastes differ. She likes a good octopus salad,
whereas anything with more than two legs on a plate
smacks of too much hard work to me. Lyn’s love of the
circus and magic is also a no-no in my book. I think
on those nights I’ll just stay in and watch Home and

28th January 2006
Dale Meeks, 30. Born in South Shields. Now
lives in “a crazy household called Gnome Towers” with
other cast members.

CURRENT FORM: Emmerdale’s Simon Meredith. Lovely guy
enduring on/off engagement with money-grabbing Nicola.

PREVIOUS FORM: Byker Grove at 14 and has worked ever

HOBBIES: Mainly music. After winning Celebrity Stars
in Their Eyes, started upbeat Blues band, Shake Your
Tail Feather.

WILL IT WORK? Hugely optimistic, as Dale adores curry
houses, in particular Aakbar in Leeds, where the menu
apparently “blows your head off”. Messy. Having given
up lager, Dale drinks vodka with cranberry juice or
tonic, and enjoys rose wine. He sounds like a very
lovely, civilised man, although I’m slightly worried
about his interest in the paranormal. Isn’t there
enough weirdness to keep him satisfied in Emmerdale?
As I love music, I will enjoy listening to him play
Blues harmonica (self-taught), but he will have to
shelve that intention to learn the bongos and take up
wine-tasting instead.

21st January 2006
Jimmy McKenna, Born and bred in Glasgow.
Now lives in South Yorkshire.

CURRENT FORM: Hollyoaks’ Jack Osbourne. Currently on
third marriage – to Frankie Dean.

PREVIOUS FORM: Semi-professional footballer before
acting, which he has been doing for 30 years.

HOBBIES: Running, football (Manchester United and
Celtic supporter) and Frank Sinatra.

WILL IT WORK? I’m more of an après-football kind of
girl, so won’t be joining Jimmy on the terraces;
still, he coaches the Hollyoaks team, so I might
develop an interest in order to get closer to all
those fit young men. Jimmy did not start drinking
until he was 35 and now enjoys his wine, so I foresee
plenty of opportunities for some tastings while the
lads are in the shower. Jimmy sounds like a very nice,
sociable chap; he’s also down to earth and a very
successful actor, so I won’t have to listen to him
banging on about his delicate psyche and how tough
“the business” is.

14th January 2006
Kara Tointon, 22. Born in Essex. Currently lives near Southgate, north London.

CURRENT FORM: EastEnders' Dawn Miller. Daughter to Rosie and Mike Swan. Great addition to the Miller clan.

PREVIOUS FORM: No formal training, but started acting at 12. Work includes Channel 4's Teachers and Sky One's Dream Team.

HOBBIES: Shopping, eating out, dancing.

WILL IT WORK? Despite the age gap, Kara is potentially a very good friend, not least because she only enjoys the gym once she gets into it (i.e. I think I will be able to employ some diversionary tactics on our way there). Like me, she also has a penchant for spicy food, although the fact that she eats out in Richmond and Kew might curtail our activities. Ten yards outside Oxford Street, and I get homesick for the West End. Still, maybe she could put a nametag around my neck in case I fall asleep on the tube on the way home.

31st December 2005
Emma Stansfield, 26. Grew up in Herefordshire. Now lives in Manchester's Salford Quays with friend Jodie.

Coronation Street's Ronnie Clayton. Sharp, feisty, sexy girlfriend of Steve McDonald.

Mostly stage, although TV work includes Holby City, Doctors and The Royal.

Photography, Impressionist art, swimming, and walking in the country.

Like her character, Emma is a strong-minded person who is not afraid to express her feelings, but unlike her character she has a rich and varied life, as exhibited by her hobbies. But it doesn't mean we would have to hang out in galleries (although I also love photography and the Impressionists); she also enjoys a good cocktail bar (particular favourites are Mojitos and Caipirinhas - try saying those after three pints of Stella) and curry. Definitely a very good friend in the making, who, despite being in the country's top soap, keeps her feet on the ground -   which is where she'll find me after those Mojitos.

24th December 2005
Roxanne Pallett, 22. Born in Carlisle. Currently lives in Leeds with her policeman boyfriend.

Emmerdale's Jo Stiles, assistant to Paddy. Feisty, temperamental, flirtatious and confident.

Drama and Media at John Moore's in Liverpool.

Girlie nights in, watching Sex and the City; theatre, concerts, and getting dressed up to go out for cocktails.

Phew, just when I was starting to get worried that I would have to be sitting bored out of my skull at the theatre, Roxanne thankfully brought up the cocktail thing. She is a huge fan of them and familiar with the northern bars that serve the best. It's a shame that I'd have to get a Virgin train up there to share them with her, as she would likely to be several gallons down by the time it arrived (if, indeed, it did at all). On the food front, Roxanne prefers the simple stuff - mashed potato and steak: probably the best cocktail absorbent in town.

17th December 2005
Louisa Lytton, 16. Lives with her parents in central London, where she was born.

EastEnders' very talented Ruby Allen, daughter of Johnny. Just lost her virginity to Juley.

Saturdays at the Italia Conti group since the age of three. Sylvia Young Theatre School from 11. Has appeared in adverts and The Bill.

Going out with friends, shopping and eating out.

Owing to the age gap, nights out in wine bars are a no-no (and you can forget that chocolate milkshake she loves). With no alcohol, and given that Louisa is a big fan of pasta and pizza, our nights out are going to be very cheap. She might also be able to get me closer to the gorgeous Billy Murray, who plays her dad, Johnny, and she might also have a few older uncles who might not be averse to taking me out. Great uncles, come to that.

10th December 2005
Jennifer Biddall. Born in Bath. Now lives in Liverpool with two cast members.

Hollyoaks' Jessica Harris, another blonde babe, who is confident and outgoing.

Musical Youth Theatre Company at 16, followed by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Cooking for friends, sitting on the sofa eating cake.

You bet. I first met Jennifer when I was living in Bath and she was waitressing. She is every bit as lively as her character, although, thankfully, not so lively as to want to drag me out jogging. Clearly, the "sofa" part of her hobbies attracts me to her friendship. She really enjoys her food, in particular Chinese, pasta, and steak and chips. Her favourite tipple during the day is green tea, which I don't mind at all - once you get it out of your mind that it tastes like . . . I'll stick to the tried and tested Rioja, thanks.

3rd December 2005
Jenna Louise Coleman, 19. Born and bred in Liverpool. Currently lives in Leeds.

Emmerdale's Jasmin Thomas, Ashley's niece. Teenage rebel, but intelligent, creative and playful.

Finished A Levels last year, before touring with the In Your Face Theatre Company in The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband. Emmerdale is her first TV role.

Chilling out, watching DVDs and taking relaxing baths.

Despite the age gap, I am optimistic, as there does not seem to be anything too energetic in Jenna's life that would make me have to don trainers or a ski hat. Her list of things she would like to do is also rather similar to mine - learn Spanish and play the piano - so perhaps we could hang out in Leeds' Oceana bar, which she likes, and talk about not doing those things together. Her love of Subway sandwiches sounds a little on the healthy side, though.

26th November 2005
Max Littler, 23. Born and grew up in Bolton and Bury. Currently lives in Allerton, Liverpool, with best friend Steve.

Hollyoaks' Max Cunningham. Well-intentioned, but often comes a cropper.

Oldham Theatre Workshop at weekends. Hollyoaks is his first professional role.

Photography, archery, sword-fighting, science fiction, cinema, DVDs, the theatre.

I like the idea of having a sword-fighting mate, although I suspect that my days of men chopping each other up to win me over are well and truly gone. I would be quite willing to partake of the Thai or Vietnamese food that Max enjoys, although his enjoyment of that old northern favourite - black pudding and offal - might see me spending half my night in the Ladies. Like me, however, Max enjoys a good old-fashioned roast dinner, washed down with a glass of rose. I am also happy to note that his hobbies would not require me to don Lycra and break into a sweat.