Monday 23 October 2017

Meet the former Love/Hate star who narrates First Dates Ireland

First Dates Ireland
First Dates Ireland
Peter Campion
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Meet the voice that launched a thousand First Dates.

Actor Peter Campion, who previously played Ruth Negga's on-screen boyfriend Stumpy in Love/Hate, is the smooth-talking narrator on RTE's hugely popular dating programme.

The Dubliner has been working on the show since it first aired and says he had no idea it was going to be so popular.

"I had seen snippets of the UK version but I was blown away by the response here," he told the Herald.

Peter Campion
Peter Campion

"People seemed to take to it straight away."

Campion doesn't get to meet the contestants during filming but he often bumps into former First Dates guests.

He approaches them for a chat and once went for coffee with controversial contestant Daphney Sanasie.

South African model Daphney (26) made headlines when she appeared in court earlier this year for harassing celebrity chef Dylan McGrath.

She is now barred indefinitely from contacting McGrath.

"There is a familiarity with the contestants because you've been part of this intimate first date set-up and watched the relationship unfold," Campion said.

"You can't help but get caught up in it.

"I once saw Daphney on South Anne Street and remembered her date. I went up and introduced myself and we had a cup of tea. She's great craic."

The actor, who is dating Red Rock star Valerie O'Connor (Detective Inspector Nikki Grogan), said people had started recognising his voice.

"People pick up on it after they have been talking to me for a while. A lot of my friends who I didn't think would watch the show ask me about it," he said.

Campion said it takes him some time to limber up before recording to ensure he hits the right note.

"On the show my voice sounds a bit different to my natural voice. I have to listen back to previous recordings and take some time to try and sound that groovy again," he added.

Series producer Hilary O'Donovan, of Coco Television, said countless actors were auditioned before Peter was cast.

"It took a huge amount of time. Narrators' voices are such an integral part of these programmes we wanted to make sure it was just right," she said.

Herald

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