Interview with Nadia Essex Celebs Go Dating relationship expert

If anyone is looking to nail the perfect date and find the 'one', Nadia Essex is the person you want around to give you the best kind of advice. Known for being frank, dating expert Nadia won't beat around the bush when it comes to giving feedback. Along with Eden Blackman, Nadia has been coaching dozens of celebrities over three series of Celebs Go Dating, and now she's back for a fourth! Promising that this will be the most riveting series yet, Am I Normal caught up with Nadia for a chat about the show, as well as some insight into her own life, and we even managed to get some dating tips and advice for ourselves... *lifts up collar and slicks back hair*

Hi Nadia, do you have any tips for someone going on a first date?

This is probably a tip that everybody has heard a million times – meeting in a public place is really, really important. It sounds really simple, but there are many people, especially online, who aren’t who they claim to be. It’s always worth meeting in a coffee shop, or a restaurant - somewhere where there are members of the public and where you are ultimately safe. Don’t go to someone’s house, don’t meet someone in a park. It has to be somewhere that’s in public and safe.

What’s the biggest mistake you see people make?

We all get nervous, just take some time. Confidence is really attractive, but if you’re feeling nervous and you feel that it’s becoming too apparent to the point that it’s overwhelming, sometimes just by addressing that and admitting to being nervous, 99.9% of the time, the other person will say “oh my goodness, me too, I’m so nervous!” and already, you’ve bonded over something that could be considered negative, you’re laughing about it because you’re both in the same boat! It dissipates any nerves you might have, because you’re laughing, and you’re laughing together.

How would you suggest getting out of an awkward date?

Simply say “thank you for coming to meet me, but I don’t feel that there’s any chemistry between us, so I’m going to go, but I wish you all the best and good luck with your dating life!” It doesn’t have to be difficult, it doesn’t have to be awkward. It’s not nice, of course you don’t want to hurt somebody else’s feelings and people feel very insecure, but ultimately, honesty is key and by just being honest and saying “you know what, this isn’t working for me” the person receiving that is always a lot more grateful than if you were to just sit on the date, wasting everybody’s time and then never calling them again.

Do you remember your first date and what that was like?

I do! I went to the cinema – I was probably about fourteen or fifteen. I remember thinking “I really like this boy, we’re going to be in the cinema, so we’re going to be snogging all the way through!” It was a double date with a friend of mine and his friend. I knew him from the school opposite mine. So, we went to the cinema and bless him, he turns up and he has the WORST cold sore I have ever seen! So obviously there was no kissing on the cards at all, and the friend that I was on the double date with spent the whole time snogging her date. I remember being very, very disappointed. I would have preferred him to postpone.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I think you have to live and learn. We all make mistakes, we all go on dates that we shouldn’t have gone on, we all make fashion faux pas and errors in judgment, but it’s all a learning curve. I think the most important thing you need to remember is not to give up hope and never give up faith. Realistically, it sounds patronising, but you’ve got your whole life to be in a relationship and be committed to one person. Have fun and enjoy your teen years! Remember that as a teen, you’re dealing with huge hormonal changes. I remember as a teenager, I would be laughing one second and crying hysterically the next. It seems so silly now – I would cry because my parents wouldn’t let me wear black lipstick and all my friends had black lipstick!

Are you excited about the new series of Celebs Go Dating?

Oh gosh, yeah! I mean, it’s been a hard flog. I think these have been the trickiest bunch of celebs we’ve ever had. We normally get one or two celebs who are tricky customers, but overall, they’re not a bad bunch. This series, every single celeb has come in and been such a bad dater, with no flirting skills! In that situation it can be exhausting because you are trying to change habits of a lifetime.

Who’s been your favourite celeb dater on the show?

Err I would say… I think for this series, I love them all, but I have a really soft spot for Tallia. She’s our youngest, she’s our baby.

Is that why she’s your fave?

Well, no. I forget she’s 19 because she is so mature for her age. She’s so driven, so motivated, and I remember seeing her on day one and every conversation was like a PR plug. Everything came back to “oh, well I dated and it reminded me of my song that’s out on iTunes now.” It was like she was a machine! She had it so drilled into her that it was all about PR. We needed the real Tallia and it took a while, but she’s worked really hard to break down that sort of PR machine attitude.

What’s your favourite love song of all time?

Oh God! I think it’s going to have to be something classic, like Whitney’s’ I Will Always Love You’

Good choice! And a great karaoke song.

It’s great for karaoke, it gives me chills, I believe every single word. I don’t think it’ll ever not be one of the best love songs.

All new Celebs Go Dating starts Sunday February 4th, 9pm on E4. Watch past episodes here.

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