Date online and snag yourself that celeb...
When it comes to internet dating, you never know, you might meet a famous person dating incognito, says Tanya Sweeney
Singletons aren't impervious to the slings and arrows of the cut-throat dating scene ... and celebrities are no exception. Faced with the prospect of hitting another red-carpet shindig on their own, some single stars have even decided to take action and improve their chances of meeting a plus-one with internet dating.
Just last week, and despite being linked to Prince Harry, Saturdays singer Mollie King revealed that she might like to try looking for love online. Speaking on UTV's Daybreak, the blonde said: "I'm single, so the girls are going to set me up on dates, I hope. I don't really know where I can meet people."
Her bandmate Frankie Sandford chimed in: "We're going to set her up on online dating!"
To which Mollie replied: "I can set up my own little account!"
It wouldn't be the first time that those trawling for love online would come up against a celebrity suitor.
Famously, Ireland's bachelors using the popular site Plenty Of Fish were intrigued to find that one of their potential dates was Sinead O'Connor. Sinead, who married her on-off husband earlier this year, announced that she had returned to online dating in a blog post in March.
"This is to let you all know before anyone else does that I have now officially joined the dating site known as PlentyOfFish.com (or pof) under the username of VeryCareful1 and invite anyone interested to view my profile," she wrote.
"Although I am living in Dublin I am of course also very much indeed interested in meeting nice gentlemen from other countries."
She wasted no time setting out her stall in the 'About Me' section: "Safe, kind, sweet, nice and VERY snuggly fellas required to snuggle safe, kind, sweet, nice and VERY snuggly woman who has repeatedly proven incapable of wife or girlfriend-dom, nevertheless wants to be held now and then as all women do... No one under 38 please. No freaks. No sex-hunters. No fans. No songwriters wanting me to do their songs. No musicians looking for jobs. Am not here for the beer."
Elsewhere, and before she met her current beau Olivier Martinez, Halle Berry also wanted to see what the fuss was about. The Bond girl confessed to frequenting dating chat rooms and websites, saying in 2006: "I am never who I am. I have been to a couple of dating ones just to see what everybody is talking about. I chime in and say a little fun stuff."
Dannii Minogue is also said to have considered cyberdating before she met her ex Kris Smith. "All my gay friends met partners that way, and really good relationships, too," she said in 2007. "I just went to the first civil ceremony of one of my friends last month and they met on the Internet and I'm, like, 'God! Men don't ask me out'. I wish they would but they don't. They're intimidated by me."
Seventysomething Joan Rivers proved that she was no slouch in the dating department either. The comedienne admitted to posting ads on sites such as match.com. Her profile on the match.com site noted that Joan was looking for "coffee and conversation". Rivers had made no secret of the fact that finds dating hard in her 70s: "At this age, the only events I go to are funerals," she famously intoned.
After being one of the world's best-known bachelorettes for years, it's perhaps no surprise to find that Jennifer Aniston would also become associated with online dating. US reports state that after a friend found a partner via Jdate.com (a Jewish dating site), an emboldened Jen signed up to a high-end dating agency under an alias in 2010. Some unconfirmed reports hint that Jen also paid a six-figure sum to a professional matchmaker in a bid to find her significant other.
Yet just before she met her current love interest Justin Theroux, Jennifer spoke out against internet dating, saying that the idea "freaks her out". Jen also noted that people who use sites build up a false sense of realism compared to the offline world, and went on to say "you can't just copy and paste your life".
"The internet warps reality," she is quoted as saying. "If you're an internet person, real life will fall short of what you have been privy to online -- sexually, emotionally. It's so unreal and gives you this sense of order where there isn't any."
Her pal Drew Barrymore also reckons that online singles don't tell the truth about themselves: "Every guy is 6ft4 with a huge schlong," she says. "That's why people love it so much. And now everything is instantaneous. It's too much! Where is old-fashioned romance and a little bit of mystery?"
Last year, and before she met her current boyfriend, Simon Konecki, Adele admitted that she had been experiencing mixed fortunes on a dating website. She told a US magazine: "I just signed up for eHarmony.
"I can't put a photo of myself, so I don't get any emails!"
Of course, it's not just the single ladies of Hollywood that have been brave enough to put themselves out there (albeit under an occasional alias).
Jennifer Aniston's Friends co-star, Matthew Perry, has reportedly used online dating site Rich Soulmate. In fact, when a British magazine reported in 2008 that he had a profile on the site stating that he was "cute and adorable, yet pained and lonely", the site received so many hits that it promptly crashed.
A similar site, Millionairematch.com, claims their dating service is used by "CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, fitness models, and Hollywood celebrities." Famed ladies' man Charlie Sheen is rumoured to have signed up to the site.
You would also think that Gossip Girl cutie Chace Crawford would have no problem finding willing girlfriends, yet even he has fallen prey to cyberdating's siren call.
"I was chatting to a friend about speed-dating and (Jewish dating website) JDate.com -- and I'm not even Jewish," he said. "I have a bunch of different accounts that no one even knows about."
Such is the popularity of cyberdating with celebs that a few wily entrepreneurs have sought to cash in on this apparent growth industry. Amber Kelleher-Andrews has set up shop as a top celebrity matchmaker in LA.
"As celebrities enjoy their successes and reap the benefits of their hard work, many, unfortunately, discover some ulterior motives of those around them," her website reads. "This is when a celebrity matchmaker service can provide a solid screening process."
A similar site, Celebrity Dating Network (www.celebritydating network.com), claims to allow celebrities to meet other real celebrities, as well as facilitating "ordinary people to meet and date actual celebrities".
"Only a very small percentage of the people on the Celebrity Dating Network are actual celebrities, though that number is growing," the site promises.
And, given that the stars are just as curious as we are about who might be lurking in cyberspace, we wouldn't doubt it.