Leamington model Craig had a blast on Take Me Out

Craig Richey on the Isle of Fernando's.
Craig Richey on the Isle of Fernando's.

A Leamington model who felt the highs and lows of a popular dating television show has described the experience as an “absolute blast”.

Craig Richey, 21, a former Myton School pupil and winner of Mr University Physique, appeared as one of the ‘Single Men’ on the first two episodes of the latest series of ITV’s Take Me Out over the last two weekends.

Craig Richey (second from right) with The Gossip host Mark Wright (centre) and fellow 'Single Men' 'Magic' Steve (left), Scott (second from left) and Ash (far right).

Craig Richey (second from right) with The Gossip host Mark Wright (centre) and fellow 'Single Men' 'Magic' Steve (left), Scott (second from left) and Ash (far right).

First he had to win and pick a date by strutting his stuff in front of the 30 women on the show and he was later filmed on a date with the girl he picked, Natalie from Wokingham, on the “Isle of Fernando’s” on both the main Take Me Out programme and its sister show The Gossip.

Craig, who has worked as a barman at the White Horse, in Leamington, said: “It was an absolute blast, I had a really good time. When I applied I had just finished university last year and was looking for something to do so I thought I might as well give it a try.

“It took me all of five minutes so it was worth a go.”

Craig’s first appearance on the show was probably most notable because three of the women he was put before embarrassingly got his name mixed up with previous contestant Scott Elliott.

He also gave a rendition of Sweet Home Alabama.

And after photos of his work as a physique model were revealed to the women he was left with more than half of them to pick a date from.

But, despite the fun he had, his date with 28-year-old Natalie, with whom he had said there was a “physical chemistry but no ‘chemistry’ chemistry”, proved to be less of a good time.

Craig said: “It was a weird situation because she put up a brick wall as soon as I told her I’m 21.

“We just had nothing in common and if I did one thing she would do the other.

“It’s difficult anyway because the cameras are on 
you all the time and I was thinking about the public’s perception, I just wanted to try to be myself.”

The pair’s date included breakfast followed by an aqua aerobics session and then an evening meeting with the show’s other couples where the men were asked to serenade their dates with the help of a mariachi band.

And while a few of the contestants enjoyed a night out, Craig instead shrugged off the disappointment of the date and went to bed early in order to fly out to Belgium for a modelling shoot the next day after saying: “I had a good time but I don’t really know about Natalie and, to be honest, I don’t really care.”

But he insists there are no hard feelings between him and his date and that, although they stayed in touch for a short time after the filming, she now has a boyfriend.

Craig, however, remains single and is now focusing his efforts on launching his own personal training gym in Dorridge this month and on his modelling work, from which he is hoping to earn some high-end jobs.

He said: “I’m just waiting for the right girl to come along but I’m very busy at the moment. A lot of girls see the body but don’t always understand the work that goes into it.”