Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Bird lover Krystal's TV date a bit of owl right

Undertaker James fits the bill as he's just mad about penguins

Krystal Allen, Channel 4 first dates.
Krystal Allen, Channel 4 first dates.

By John Toner

An owl-obsessed redhead from Newtownabbey may finally have found her lovebird after appearing on Channel 4 dating show First Dates.

Krystal Allen (32), who volunteers at World Of Owls animal sanctuary in Randalstown, appeared on the show last week in search of her very own bird of a feather.

The bubbly animal lover, who has also appeared on TV shows Take me Out, This Morning and Make Me A Dealer, said: "Everybody who ever meets me thinks I'm absolutely wired to the moon.

"I get really nervous going out on dates, I have to slow myself down because sometimes I find myself speaking over them, so I have to step back and actually listen.

"Sometimes I think I scare men off. I'd just love somebody who just accepted me for me and wasn't asking me to change.

"A good, kind guy, that's all I want, someone who loves animals, just boy-next-door kind, a good-hearted, polite gentleman."

Krystal added: "I absolutely love owls, they're beautiful. At the sanctuary there's Harry Potter white owls, barn owls, it's amazing.

Sign In

"Love is a big cuddly, hunky owl with massive wings and we'd just fly off into our own wee world together."

Krystal arrived at the First Dates restaurant in London wearing a figure-hugging leopard print dress and owl-themed handbag before ordering a Sexy Beast cocktail, joking with the barman: "Could I have a Sexy Beast... and a cocktail too!"

Krystal was paired with fellow bird lover James (43), an undertaker from Corby, Northamptonshire, who revealed he'd like to be reincarnated as a penguin, especially as the birds mate for life.

Krystal Allen, Channel 4 first dates.
Krystal Allen, Channel 4 first dates.

The former postman told the show: "It's just how they are, they just look so lovable, adorable and stupid at the same time. My best mate was actually going to make me a friendzone card because I'm like the nice guy next door, so basically I'm looking for a girl that wants that nice guy.

"I've always had a soft spot for redheads, I think because of the fiery temperament."

The date starts well, when Krystal says she's now got two 'Sexy Beasts' in front of her and hands James an owl she knitted for him called Baby Nero, much to his delight.

The two bonded over their love of birds and previous dating disasters throughout the meal, with Krystal quizzing James on whether or not dead bodies suffer flatulence.

After popping outside for a moonlit dessert under a cosy blanket, the smitten lovebirds talk about their hopes for the future and what they want out of a relationship.

Krystal later reveals she "100%" wants to see James again, saying: "I think he's not only boyfriend material, I think he's husband material.

Krystal Allen
Take Me Out
ITV dating show
Pix A Gordon 21/04/17
Krystal Allen Take Me Out ITV dating show Pix A Gordon 21/04/17

"He's lovely. It's nice to meet somebody who isn't embarrassed by my talking loud, I just feel so relaxed too, I loved every part of the date."

Luckily the feeling was mutual, as James said: "Krystal is the red-headed Belfast version of me and I believe I'm the short, grey-haired, Midlands version of her."

The loved-up pair later left the restaurant in one of London's iconic black taxis, in search of a nightcap.

■ First Dates season 12, episode 1, is available to watch online on

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph