This article was first published on the BBC news website on April 14th, 2004 coverring the first ever couple to meet and get married as a result of an Original Dating speed dating event.
Speed dating, so we are being told these days, is the newest dating craze and is taking the capital by storm, so naturally we thought some single members of the office should be sent out to try the waters...
If your quest for love has so far proved fruitless and you feel that time is running out - how about spending a night speed dating? You could meet a dozen potential matches and still get home in time to peruse the personals before bed.
The plan was fairly simple. I was on a six week secondment to our Manchester office and friends had invited me to tag along on a Speed Dating evening which they had attended on a couple of occasions.
A short story about the travails of speed dating in London by Kelly Roberts.
It doesn't matter how you got to be single in your mid-thirties. What does matter, however, is that you have certain priorities in order so that you can protect yourself and those you date from getting hurt. There are too many reasons to list on why you're on the market at this stage in your life, but you should be clear on your goals, both long and short-term. You don't want to be led on or trapped into something you didn't want in the first place
The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.
Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are girl.
A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!
After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.