Will Mellor stars in Channel 4’s new comedy-drama series Dates (Monday, June 10), playing a lonely lorry driver who starts online dating…

Can you tell us about David’s date?

“It’s a bit of a nightmare for him at first, to be honest – full of misunderstandings and awkwardness. She seems to be utterly horrible – a right cow – and you think he should run a mile. I certainly would have if I’d ever been on date like this. He’s dressed terrible for it, too – mismatched shirt and tie, with jeans. Thanks a lot, Wardrobe! Especially when I’m sat opposite glamorous Oona Chaplin!”

 

Each episode is like an intimate little play between two characters. Is that what attracted you to Dates in the first place?

“Yep. I’d never read a script that was like that before. It’s also quite daunting to know you’re doing something daring and new. It’s also frightening that we’re the first episode. When you’re on the edge like that, you push yourself to do these things, that’s when you’re the best you can be.”

 

What it’s like working opposite Oona as Mia?

“Just a pleasure, and her character is a right bitch, at first. It’s great to play for pauses, which you don’t often get on TV anymore, and those pauses and uncomfortable silences tell you about the story so loud, if you know what I mean.”

 

So what’s the worst date you’ve ever been on in real life?

“I’m embarrassed because my wife Michelle is sat with us, and it was with her! I think she’d agree, too. I took her out for a date at a club and didn’t know she hadn’t had any food, then we had quite a bit of champagne. She then went to the toilet and probably bounced off every wall in there, then threw up. Her friends thought I’d drugged her drink! I hadn’t obviously, but that date just didn’t go very well. Basically I just got her very drunk at a club. I did phone her the next day, and we ended up getting married, so it was a good story.”

 

How would you cope with David’s situation on his nightmare date – ie she turns up late and she’s rude?

“I’d definitely have walked out! I couldn’t sit there with a proverbial custard pie in the face for that long. David hasn’t been on a date ever, as you find out from his back story, so he’s nervous. But he really wants to give it a go, and he’s been put in this awful situation. For him, the date was over in the first five minutes because of how rude and charmless she is. It’s only Mia who carries the date on, and that’s where the episode really kicks off, then you gradually find out more and more of their life stories, which then moves into other episodes.”

 

If you were online dating, how would you describe yourself in your profile?

“Oh I’d lie of course… Most people do, don’t they? But I’d probably say something like confident, funny, and daft.”