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20 January 2021, 10:59
Your need-to-know on First Dates star Merlin Griffiths - including his age, real job and family life.
First Dates is back for its 16th series, with the Channel 4 show returning with a brand-new Manchester location.
As well as its new set-up, the show features a number of new waiting staff to coincide with the new restaurant.
However, many of its old favourites are returning - including beloved bartender Merlin Griffiths.
Here's your need-to-know on him.
Merlin, 42, has been a mixologist and bartender for more than 20 years.
He grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and went to Pate's Grammar School.
Merlin may be known for working in the First Dates restaurant, but that isn't his day job.
He actually works owns his own bar and restaurant, which is called The Priory Tavern, and is located in Kilburn, north-west London.
Speaking about how he ended up on First Dates, he told Now! magazine: "It was all very random! One of the crew, called Molly, sent me a message asking me to come to a casting, saying: ‘I’ve heard you’re a bartender and not so bad behind the bar, so would you like to come for a casting?’ And I thought: ‘I’ve done some interesting bartending jobs in my time, so why not?’"
Merlin has been with partner Lucile for over a decade.
The couple met at a cocktail competition more than a decade ago, and they share one child together.
Together, the couple took over Lucile and Merlin took over The Priory Tavern in 2010, with the pub winning Regional Cellar Keeper of the Year in 2015.
He doesn't speak much about his private life, but he did tell Now! magazine: "I run a pub with my partner Lucille in Kilburn. I’ve been a bartender for 20 years now. I started collecting glasses at a Soho bar and now I run my own bar and restaurant in a pub."
Merlin is active on his Twitter account, and you can follow him @MerlinFDC4.
He is also big on Instagram - and you can follow him @merlinfdc4.