Tuesday 25 September 2018

Ailish found love thanks to First Dates Ireland - just not with Amgad

Agmad and Ailish on First Dates Ireland
Agmad and Ailish on First Dates Ireland
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

First Dates Ireland participants Ailish O'Keefe and Amgad caused quite a stir on Tuesday night's episode after they hit it off and shared a 'sneaky kiss' or two on the veranda and in the lift after their date.

However, viewers were left hanging as to what happened after between the Tipperary 31-year-old and Amgad (41) as there was no update on their budding romance by the final credits.

Agmad and Ailish on First Dates Ireland
Agmad and Ailish on First Dates Ireland

Ailish, from Clonmel, reveals that they were both open to a second date but that the "distance meant it just wasn't feasible" as Amgad lives in Armagh.

"Maybe if we lived closer we would have met up again but I don't know if things would have gone any further than a second date," Ailish tells Independent.ie.

Agmad on First Dates Ireland
Agmad on First Dates Ireland
Ailish on First Dates Ireland

"But I would have been interested to see how we got on without the cameras.  It's quite nerve wracking before the date and then the nerves really set in when you meet them and although you can't see the cameras you're aware they're there and you have your microphone on.  You know you've signed up for a TV show as such so I would have been interested to see how it was outside the cameras."

Ailish reveals that the First Dates producers threw her off when Amgad as she had always gone for "the country lad standing at the bar".

"I was a bit taken aback when we met and the age difference as well, because there was ten years between us, so I didn't think we'd have a lot in common but when we started talking we actually had a lot in common."

An enduring obsession with The Backstreet Boys is something Ailish was very honest about, revealing she cried when AJ held her hand and sang to her at a concert. Amgad revealed the band had been a favourite of his too in their 90s heyday.

Ailish O'Keefe sitting front row at a Backstreet Boys concert
Ailish O'Keefe sitting front row at a Backstreet Boys concert

Her description of what actually happened with AJ is hilarious:

"He held my hand and sang a little bit and I instantly dropped the phone and started fainting and had to sit down. The tears were rolling down my face.  I was 31 years of age and my legs went from under me and my sister was worried because my face was all squelched up.  The whole place was like, 'Are you okay?' and I was like, 'I just thought this happened in music videos but this is real life.'"

Although she says she was "sick to my stomach" in the week prior to her episode of First Dates airing on RTE 2, she says she had good banter with Amgad.  However, she admits she was a "bit taken aback" by his comments about sex in his pre-interview on the show.

He said, "When you go out with a girl you want her to turn you on. Sex is a very important part of the relationship.  If the girl is not really good in bed, if you like someone you might give them time to practice and learn things.   If you do fine, if you don't, there's no point."

Ailish laughs, "Maybe if he was an Irish fella he'd have said, 'Oh, I'll try to get the leg over or chance my arm' but I think Amgad was so honest, I was a bit like, 'oh'.  If he'd said to me, 'I'll give you time to practice' I'd have been like, 'What are you talking about?!'  But people say I was able for him.  I definitely think we were able for each other and we bounced off each other."

One thing led to another and they had what Ailish described as a 'sneaky kiss' which was actually quite a full on lip lock on the veranda and again in the lift.

"I don't know what I was thinking," she laughs.  "The whole country and all of Twitter were discussing the fact that there was literally nothing sneaky about that kiss. I had forgotten about the cameras at that stage. He was such a charmer, not in a bad way, but he knew what to say and the banter between us was quite good."

She admits she had had a couple of glasses of wine beforehand.

"I did have a bit of wine in me - I won't lie," she laughs. "It was definitely observed on Twitter how many times the glass was lifted to my mouth.  You'd want to be a brave soul to go on it without it.  I was told my date was at 4pm so I had a bit of Dutch courage at 3pm and I think it was nearly 7pm when I met him so I had a bit more Dutch courage at that stage!"

Although Amgad and Ailish did not meet up again, First Dates Ireland has led to her finding love with someone else.

"I went out in my hometown two weeks after the show and I had this newfound confidence and there was this creepy old man and he wouldn't leave me alone so I walked up to this lad and said, 'Would you hold my hand and pretend to be my boyfriend' so the other man came over and asked what the story was and the guy, Lukas, said, 'I'm sorry, I'm with her.  I'm her boyfriend.'"

Ailish O'Keefe and boyfriend Lukas Simko
Ailish O'Keefe and boyfriend Lukas Simko

Ailish thanked him and went to leave but Lukas asked her to stay and now they have been dating ever since.

"He's from Slovakia and he's lived in my hometown for 10 years, but I never met him before," says Ailish.  "We're flying out to Slovakia next week and I'm going to meet his mam."

Lukas had some reservations about watching First Dates Ireland and seeing his girlfriend on a date with someone else, but they sat down and watched it together.

Ailish O'Keefe and Lukas Simko
Ailish O'Keefe and Lukas Simko

"He turned around to me when he saw it and said, 'Darling, you never kiss me like that!'  I said, 'Lukas that has to be in slow motion - the kiss didn't go on that long!'"

Ailish had been single for seven years before First Dates Ireland and she would thoroughly recommend the experience, adding that Amgad was a "lovely guy and I couldn't fault him at all".

"First Dates definitely opened my eyes to dating," she says.  "I'm a bit of a trainwreck in that I think of something and just do it and don't think of the consequences, not in a bad way, but I just go for it.  We've had a lot happen in our family - my dad's family passed away from cancer, all my uncles within ten years - and I always think nobody is guaranteed anything so don't delay and just do it.  But definitely not the pre-drinking part," she laughs.

Ailish O'Keefe and Lukas Simko
Ailish O'Keefe and Lukas Simko

First Dates Ireland continues on RTE 2 on Tuesdays at 9.30pm.

First Dates Ireland pairs first ever transgender dater Laylah with pansexual Kyle who battled cancer at 17

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