Joel Dommett on disastrous dating and how he found 'the one'

6th Feb 18 | Weddings

Comedian and I'm A Celebrity... runner-up Joel Dommett charts his romantic encounters and dating disasters before he found the woman he's going to marry.

He’s a hopeless romantic who has just got engaged to model Hannah Cooper, but comedian and I’m A Celebrity… runner-up Joel Dommett has had more than his fair share of disastrous dates and embarrassing romantic encounters.

In his memoir, It’s Not Me, It’s Them, the 32-year-old funnyman reveals a lot about his previous dating catastrophes, from being a virgin teenager, kissing in “the way you attack a dripping Mr Whippy”, to almost losing his virginity until he realised the condom was past its sell-by date, and his adventures in the world of Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish.

What do you think about meeting people through dating sites?

Tinder Swiping GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“It’s a massive part of our culture and it’s changed dating forever, but there’s something about being petrified about going up and speaking to someone and being scared about whether they are going to reply or not which I think is really important.

“When you are messaging 20 different people at once and going on a date every night of the week, that can also be unhealthy, because you don’t get past the tiny flaw. You think a person might have strange eyebrows, so you swipe them away. It’s making us more fussy.”

How many bad dates have you had?

“I’ve gone on so many terrible dates. I had a lot of online dates. I probably did it solidly for about four months and then got bored of it and realised I needed to do something else.

“A lot of people didn’t look like their photos and they pretended to be someone else online. At least when you meet someone on Instagram you can see more of their profile and understand better what their personality is, rather than judging by five photos on a Tinder account.”

What’s your advice on the best way of meeting someone?

Joel Dommett and his fiancee Hannah Cooper. (Isabel Infantes/PA) Joel Dommett and his fiancee Hannah Cooper (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“The best way to meet someone is just to be really honest, especially now when we date so many people. There are all these dating apps out now. Just be yourself and someone out there will be right for you. If you’re pretending to be somebody, they’re only going to find out that it’s not you – and they’re going to find out.”

Where shouldn’t you go on a first date?


BAE-WATCH #sexy #beach #shots @hannah_cooper_

A post shared by Joel Dommett (@joeldommett) on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:00am PST

“Restaurants are risky if you haven’t been there before, and TripAdvisor reviews are the Tinder for restaurants. And it’s so intimate to watch someone eat.

“Don’t go to a comedy club on a first date. Going on a date to watch someone else do something is a terrible idea. You should do something where you can interact. A theme park is really good, where you can get scared together and hold on to each other. “

You met Hannah on Instagram. How did that happen?


Happy Hour to Nap'py Hour 🍸💤

A post shared by ✩ Hannah Cooper ✩ (@hannah_cooper_) on Jan 6, 2018 at 5:21am PST

“She sent me a cat emoji with the heart eyes when she was really drunk. I had a really good look at her pictures – I went right back, at least to 2015. We messaged back and forth and I thought she was really funny.”

You announced your engagement on Instagram, posting a video of a toilet lock first saying ‘Vacant’ and then ‘Engaged’. But you’ve also posted naked pictures to your 570,000 Instagram followers – why?


Unwashed exotic fruit.

A post shared by Joel Dommett (@joeldommett) on Jan 10, 2018 at 2:35am PST

“On holiday in Thailand we were naked most of the time so it made sense really. It’s okay. I don’t think people mind. I just think it’s hilarious. Instagram is a documentation of your life and that’s what I was doing in my life at a particular moment. It’s not like I’m doing anything too dangerous.”

And how did you propose?



A post shared by Joel Dommett (@joeldommett) on Dec 27, 2017 at 12:14pm PST

“I proposed to Hannah at the end of my book. I got her to read the whole book and ripped up the last two pages – and then read them to her.

“I put on a tuxedo, I bought a candelabra from John Lewis – it was huge and cost me 60 quid – set it all up and lit all the candles. I’d forgotten how hot a flat gets when you’ve lit 150 candles. Then she came home and I got down on one knee and read her the final line.

“Her reaction was to say, ‘What?’ lots and lots and then cry lots and lots and then say, ‘Yes’.”

What was the last romantic thing Hannah did for you?

“When she went away she left me a list of things to do, and one of them was to tighten the tap in the kitchen and to find out about setting up a NatWest joint account.”

And you?

“Proposing to her. Proposing gives you a get out of Jail Free card for at least six months.”


This is the really really exciting news you have all been waiting for. You don’t have to listen to me any more because I’ve written some stuff down. It’s been a labour of love of mine for a while and it really has been incredible fun. I can exclusively reveal I finally decided on a title and it’s this.. IT’S NOT ME IT’S THEM – Confessions of a Hopeless Modern Romantic. I wrote a diary when I was 17 years old, the age when all you want in life is to see more boobies and have a small fridge in your bedroom. On the 19/4/03, the day after I lost my virginity, I wrote this bold statement. "I’m scared to have sex with someone else but I want to get better at this. I think I just need to do it more. Maybe 40 people? More than 40 people is slutty. I definitely want to fall in love before I reach 40" Join me as I plot you through my past and current dating, relationship and sexual fails on my way to potentially disappoint my 17-year-old expectations to find The One. It will be released on feb 9th in time for the sexiest day – Valentines day and It will be the perfect gift for your loved one/lonely crying self. I honestly have never worked this hard on anything. Even harder than that time I made a book shelf in DT with a glue gun. I will make an audio book too for those who listen in the car or are illiterate. I’ve almost finished writing it and I really can’t wait for you to read it! I’ve never been more proud of anything and I really loved that bookcase. Pre Order link is on my website.

A post shared by Joel Dommett (@joeldommett) on Sep 13, 2017 at 6:47am PDT

It’s Not Me, It’s Them by Joel Dommett is published by Headline, priced £16.99. Available February 8.

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