A. Listen to a radio programme about speed dating. A man and a woman who have both tried it talk about their experiences. How successful was if for them?

B. Listen again. Then answer the questions with E (Emily), A (Alex), or B (both).


1   preferred to ask normal questions

2   was asked an unusual question

3   was asked the same question again and again

4   got the fewest matches

5   had a disastrous date because he / she wasn’t feeling well

6   was invited on a date which never took place

7   had a good date in spite of having had some bad news

8   realized on a date that his / her first impression was wrong

9   says he / she isn’t planning to go speed dating again



It was successful for Alex – he married his second date, but Emily didn’t have any successful dates.


1 B   2 B   3 E   4 A   5 E

6 E   7 A   8 A   9 E


I = interviewer, E = Emily, A = Alex

I    … and with me I’ve got Emily and Alex. Emily, what kind of questions did you ask?

E   Well, the organizers of the event suggested a list of topics, you know, sort of pre-prepared questions but I thought that they were very er artificial, you know, strange. So I asked quite normal questions like ‘Why did you come tonight?’ or er ‘Have you been speed dating before?’ er ‘What do you like doing in your free time?’ I found that the conversation ran more smoothly when I asked people these kinds of normal questions.

I    How about you Alex?

A   Yes, same as Emily, really. I also asked quite normal things like, ‘What do you do? Have you done this before? Do you enjoy living in Oxford?’ Things like that.

I    Did other people ask you interesting questions?

A   Yes, some were quite interesting. Ones I can remember are, ‘If you were an animal, what would you be?’ Or ‘If you had to choose a different career from your current one, what would it be?’ One woman even said ‘I’ve heard that you were in prison once – is that true?’ I don’t know where she got that from!

I    And you, Emily, were you asked anything unusual?

E   Not really! The most common questions were ‘Are you American?’ or ‘Where are you from?’ The second most common question was ‘Why do you live in England?’ Although one person did ask me ‘If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?’

I    How did you answer that?

E   I said I would go to work and play tricks on my colleagues in the office like hiding things!

I    How many matches did you get?

E   I chose six men that I would be happy to see again and, of those six, four of them had chosen me too, so I got four matches.

A   I got three.

I    Did you go out with any of the people?

E   Yes, I went on one date with a guy who teaches biochemistry at university. It was a bit of a disaster though, because earlier that morning I’d been to the dentist, and I’d had an injection, so by the time that we met for coffee I had terrible toothache and I was in agony. I had to go home after half an hour. We’ve exchanged a few emails since then, but we haven’t managed to meet. We’re both very busy.

Also, to be honest, I don’t think he’s really my type. He seems to be really keen to get married and have children straight away and I’m not.

I    What about the other three matches?

E   The second man contacted me directly after the event and invited me to dinner. But then he sent me a text message the next day and cancelled. He said that he had met someone else. The other two have been in touch, but we haven’t been able to meet yet. But in fact, I’ve decided that for the moment, I’m actually happy being single so I don’t think I’ll be speed dating again anytime soon.

I    How about you Alex?

A   I emailed one of the matches, a woman I quite liked and we met at a bar in Oxford. At the speed dating event she seemed really bubbly and good fun, but after spending a few minutes with her it was very clear that we had nothing in common. The atmosphere was awful and it was all very awkward, and I think she felt the same so we just finished our drinks and left. We didn’t contact each other again. Then I arranged to meet another of my matches. We’d really got on well at the speed dating so I was quite excited about meeting her. Unfortunately, on that morning, I’d found out that I’d lost my job and I was really worried that I would not give the right impression because I was feeling so unhappy about my work situation. But actually, Susanna quickly made me forget everything and we had a great evening. We then met up the next day and went for a long walk. And well, to cut a long story short, six months later I took her to Paris and proposed, and two months ago we got married!

E   Aaaah!

I    So a real success story for you then?

E   Absolutely!

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