Take Me Out star steps into Paddy’s shoes to play cupid for Manchester singles… and reveals her dating disasters

A former Take Me Out contestant who has been unlucky in love herself has found her talent lies in playing cupid for others – launching a Manchester dating website and monthly singles event.

Steph Roberts set up her website last July and has already seen 400 members join up.

Luckily the 33-year-old Steph is better at setting up dates for others than for herself, as the mum-of-one revealed to MM some particularly embarrassing first date stories – including a man who had turned up bandaged from a nose job.

Yet last night saw the successful launch of The Date Night – an informal monthly event at Cord Bar in the Northern Quarter where Steph plays hostess and matchmaker.

“I like talking a lot so I’ll go and get someone’s number for my friends all the time!” she told MM.

“It’s hard to play matchmaker for someone unless you know their type, but all you can do is approach the other person and say ‘are you single?’”

Steph lives in Shaw in Oldham with her son James, 11, and their German Shepherd, two cats, two lizards, giant rabbit and parrot as well as two fish tanks.

Quite clearly animal-mad, she even worked as a canine hydrotherapist before being made redundant just over a year ago.

Steph then decided she wanted a change and now runs as well as working in a beauty salon and as an extra on Coronation Street.

“I was gutted I lost my job but fancied something different to do,” she said. “It’s chaos, but I like being busy!”

Steph appeared on series three of Take Me Out in 2012 and secured herself a date after four weeks… completely by accident.

When Norman Nicholls serenaded them with All Night Long by Lionel Richie, Steph was too busy dancing to remember the rules of the game – no likey, no lighty.

Before she knew it, the song finished, she was the only contestant left and Paddy announced that Norman had bagged himself a date.

“I looked down and saw my light on and thought, oh, my God!” she said. “We did get on well and still keep in touch now, but he just wasn’t my type.”

MATCHMAKER: Take Me Out contestant Steph Roberts

Steph has however remained close to the friends she made on Take Me Out, most of whom she says are still looking for love.

She admits she’s very picky when it comes to men and has been single for eight years.

A particular highlight of her romantic life was when her date turned up with two black eyes and a bandage across his face, having just had a nose job.

They never had a second date.

She also once plucked up the courage to leave her phone number for a waiter in Frankie & Benny’s – an act that terrified her.

“I put the number down and just ran out the restaurant because I was that embarrassed,” she said. “My friends thought it was genius.”

LOOKING FOR LOVE: The Date Night in Manchester

Last night’s singles night launch was miraculously not dampened by the wild weather and Steph was delighted at the turnout.

She hopes The Date Night will grow in popularity over the coming months (with Valentine’s Day ‘out the way’) while helping to spread the word about her website.

With plans to set up a sister site for Liverpool, complete with singles nights, her already hectic schedule well get a whole lot busier, leaving even less room for her own dates.

But while she works her magic in Manchester like a modern-day cupid, let’s hope her Prince Charming is just around the corner.

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