Celebs Go Dating’s Dean Gaffney: ‘I don’t need the agent’s help to meet women’

Wellard’s loyal companion chats fame, fornicating, and dating younger women

Dean Gaffney

by Jordan Paramor |
Updated on

Dean Gaffney has been front and centre of the celeb world ever since he first hit our screens as the hapless but loveable Robbie Jackson in EastEnders when he was just 15 (a scary 27 years ago). Back when we had a meagre four TV channels to choose from, the show was pulling in 25million viewers an episode, and made instant stars of everyone who appeared in it. Dean remained a fixture on the show on and off until last year, when he waved goodbye to the Square after being axed for making some ‘bad personal decisions’ (i.e. he asked a fan to send him some saucy pictures).

So, is the 42 year old really the hard-partying playboy he’s portrayed to be? He'd beg to differ, telling us the past is the past. Although he’s got a definite glint in his eye, he’s honest and answers all of heat’s questions head on. Top of our agenda is his recent appearance on E4’s Celebs Go Dating. Let’s discover if he found his happy ever after…

How was your Celebs go Dating experience?

On the whole it was fine, but it was also hard because I don’t come from a reality background. It’s not really my forte, to be honest, and I don’t think it ever will be. You’re really only as good as the edit. Sometimes you’re on a two-hour date and it’s condensed into two and a half minutes, and I found that quite hard to view.

Did you feel a bit out of your comfort zone at times?

[Nods] The first mixer we went to was hard because the people were predominantly younger than me. One girl said no when I asked her out for a date, but she actually sent me a DM the next day to say she’d said no because she didn’t want to go on a date on camera. It does beg the question, why turn up to the filming of a reality show if you didn’t want to be on camera? None of it makes sense but she obviously got cold feet.

Rob Beckett really pushes the boundaries on the voiceover…

I always laughed along with Rob Beckett until I was on the show. I'm the first person to take the piss out of myself, but when you’ve got someone with funny teeth taking the piss out of you it’s a bit pot/kettle. No one likes to be on the end of something. When Rob’s been in the business for as long as I have, he can come back to me. Rob Beckett doesn’t write all his lines, let’s be fair. There is a team behind it, but he is still funny.

Is it fair to say to you were a bit of a rogue in the past?

There was an article out about me recently where they rehashed kiss-and-tells that were going back 20 years. You know, I've got twin daughters who are 23 and I don’t think it’s fair to refer to things that happened before they were born. When does ‘before’ stop being before? There are misconceptions about me and I’m not this guy that jumps in and out of nightclubs every weekend and sows my oats. I did that when I was the right age to be doing that. I’m not doing that now, but it's always kind of documented that’s it’s what Dean Gaffney stands for.

CHECK OUT Celebs Go Dating's most outrageous moments


Celebs Go Dating most outrageous moments - SLIDER use this one

The fall of Stephen Bear1 of 36

The fall of Stephen Bear

After a few episodes of Stephen Bear acting as Stephen Bear-ish as it's possible to act, Nadia and Eden decided they'd had enough and chucked him out the agency. Good riddance.

Stephen Bear2 of 36

Stephen Bear asks for threesome

Speaking of Stephen Bear, remember when he asked those twins for a threesome? Good lord.

Now we think about it, everything Stephen Bear did was outrageous3 of 36

Stephen Bear

Now we think about it, everything Stephen Bear did was outrageous. Poor blue lips...

Joey Essex's burp date4 of 36

Joey Essex's burpy date

Some poor old girl who managed to score a date with Joey Essex ended up burping on his face throughout the entire thing. What a nightmare.

Jonathan Cheban dates a Kim Kardashian lookalike5 of 36

Jonathan Cheban dates Kimmy K lookalike

This just couldn't have been more classic, could it? Things (obviously) didn't work out, and Kim Kardashian lookalike Chanelle Sadie Paul ended up having an alleged sordid affair with dating agent Eden Blackman. But that's a whole other story...

Gemma Collins stands up poor old Laurence :(6 of 36

Gemma Collins stands up poor old Laurence :(

Gemma Collins successfully managed to anger the entire nation after failing to turn up to the Eurostar for her Parisian date with Laurence.

Joey Essex dates a cougar...7 of 36

Joey Essex dates a cougar...

She wanted to dress him as a pony, for some reason.

... and Calum Best dates a cougar8 of 36

... and Calum Best dates a cougar

He looks like he had a wonderful time.

Frankie Cocozza and Charlotte Dawson break the rules and date each other9 of 36

Frankie Cocozza and Charlotte Dawson break the rules and date each other

They were the first celebrity couple to hook up with each other on the show. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. And Frankie is now happily married to someone else.

CGD outrageous moments10 of 36

Their double date ends in awks

Both Frankie and Charlotte's dates ended up walking out of the double date set up by the agents after they couldn't stop gushing about the other.

CGD outrageous moments11 of 36


Yes, this is a real thing that actually happened and the snubbed dates, Kieran Patel and Katie Champ are still together.

Charlotte Dawson bum massage12 of 36

Charlotte Dawson bum massage

Charlotte Dawson made an impression (of sorts) on one of her first dates by giving a bum massage in a busy pub. Not sure where that lotion came from.

Calum Best stands his date up13 of 36

Calum Best stands his date up

Calum got in hot water with the dating agents after failing to show up to one of his dates.

Gemma Collins storms out of date after he called her 'a diva'14 of 36

Gemma Collins storms out of date after he called her 'a diva'

She got up an left like a diva after he called her, er, 'a diva'. Well, she did show up about an hour late...

Charlotte Crosby spits milk during her date15 of 36

Charlotte Crosby spits milk during her date

Playing hot sauce roulette on a first date was never going to end well...

Jorgie Porter's date wants to see her on the loo16 of 36

Jorgie Porter's date wants to see her on the loo

After telling her that he'd Googled her before the date, Jorgie's date casually mentioned he'd like to watch her on the toilet. Wow.

Courtney Stodden's date gets x-rated17 of 36

Courtney Stodden's date gets x-rated

Courtney Stodden shocked viewers after getting her date to rub sun cream on her chest.

Charlotte Crosby dates a massive sexist18 of 36

Charlotte Crosby dates a massive sexist

When Charlotte told Jeavon (who also dated Love Island's Malin Andersson) that she'd slept with 20 men, he said: "that is bad, for a lad it's not that bad." Despite the fact he claimed to have slept with 50.

Joey Essex and Stephanie Pratt find love with each other19 of 36

Joey Essex and Stephanie Pratt find love with each other

They broke the rules, but was it worth it? Erm. Probably not, no. Because it lasted about two minutes.

Ferne McCann refuses to split the bill20 of 36

Ferne McCann refuses to split the bill

After ordering a frankly humungous amount of food, Ferne didn't offer to help pay the bill at the end of the date. She later burst into tears in the dating agency after the guy gave her a bad review for not doing so.

Tom Read WIlson admits he doesn't know who Kim Kardashian is21 of 36

Tom Read Wilson admits he doesn't know who Kim Kardashian is

But... how?

CGD outrageous moments22 of 36

Megan McKenna and Pete Wicks reunion

Megan and Pete had a notoriously rocky relationship on TOWIE, so putting them on the same series was a stroke of TV GENIUS.

CGD outrageous moments23 of 36

Kerry Katona's rude date

When Kerry Katona's date implied her children had been a "mistake", she handled it like a pro – but the nation watched from between their fingers.

CGD outrageous moments24 of 36

Jack Fincham and the Waitress

Jack Fincham was set up with a lovely girl called Carol by the agents, but admitted by the end he wasn't feeling it. Instead he got the barmaid's number, and ended up taking her to the final in Tenerife.

CGD outrageous moments25 of 36

Jack Fincham's first date

Jack Fincham abruptly ended the date he wasn't feeling by telling his date he was "tired" and had "had enough", before demanding she finish her glass of wine en route to the door.

CGD outrageous moments26 of 36

Jack Fincham's second date

He then got set up with an Italian called Chiara, but quickly took offense when she made a joke about one of the bartenders, calling them over and insisting she'd rather be on a date with them, instead.

CGD outrageous moments27 of 36

Lee Ryan gets pied

Ha! Ha, ha ha.

CGD outrageous moments28 of 36

Lady C's sexual innuendos

Just like narrator Rob Beckett said, the woman is an absolute SAUCE POT - just check out her traffic light analogy. Blimey.

CGD outrageous moments29 of 36

Malique Thompson-Dwyer's 'predatory' flirting

After getting slammed by viewers for his 'predatory' flirting at the first mixer, Malique offended one of his dates when he was forced to date two women at the same time, and made his preference for Jakeeme clear - with Danica storming off as a result. awks.

CGD outrageous moments30 of 36

Tom's birth affirmations

Anna Williamson is heavily pregnant in series eight and so lovable receptionist Tom devises some birth affirmations in case her waters break at work - "which could happen", points out Anna.

CGD outrageous moments31 of 36

Amy Childs showed her deep and intellectual side...

When she asked her date, "If you were a sandwich, what would you be?"

CGD outrageous moments32 of 36

Malique ACTUALLY fell in love!

And then immediately fell out of it the following morning, after he "had sex all night" with his date, Jakeeme. He was - quite rightfully - told off by Anna and Paul.

CGD outrageous moments33 of 36

Liv Bentley walked out on her date

He was "late, stand-offish and entirely humourless" (fair), but his incessant talk of "pumping" was the final straw for Liv, who left halfway through (also fair).

CGD outrageous moments34 of 36

But he was totally convinced she was into him

Despite Liv doing a runner in the middle of their drinks, self-confident Otto was still convinced Liv fancied him and accused her of making "f-ck me eyes" across the table. CRINGE.

CGD outrageous moments35 of 36

Amy Childs' toilet 'romp' with Jamie

Does this take the biscuit for CGD's most outrageous moment? During a double date with Olivia Bentley, Amy STRADDLED her date in the restaurant before scuttling off to the toilets, returning later looking dishevelled. They claimed to have only kissed... but we weren't born yesterday, hun.

CGD outrageous moments36 of 36
CREDIT: Channel 4

Paul Carrick Brunson QUITS

Just days after Celebs Go Dating: The Mansion came to end, love guru Paul Carrick Brunson seemingly revealed he's quit the show after a behind the scenes bust-up with one of the show's 'disrespectful' celebs. We need to know more ASAP.

If you took heat out on a date, would we go back to yours on the first night?

[Shakes his head] I went to Adam Thomas’s lovely wedding a couple of years ago and in his speech he referred to the fact that it took him ages to get his wife back to his, and to be fair it was the same with the mother of my children. I think that goes a long way. You can’t fight chemistry, but I would say make people wait.

Does being famous help you pull?

It’s definitely a good conversation starter, but I think it can make it harder because your life is documented on Google. It’s very hard to say to someone, “Yeah, but that happened ten years ago.” It’s a double-edged sword. It makes it easier to make the initial contact because you’re known to someone, but it makes it harder when you start dating someone because things can come back to bite you on the arse. People have preconceptions about who I am so the biggest compliment someone can give me is, “you’re not who I thought you would be.”

Did you meet someone on the show or are you still looking?

I think ultimately – and I mean this in the most un big-headed way possible – I don’t have a problem meeting females. I don’t need two agents to find me women, but I keep making the mistakes with ex-girlfriends of not committing. I think there's a reason for that, so it's was about tackling that and discovering why I do certain things. I wasn’t on the show to meet a woman, per se, it was more about finding out about me. I’m not desperately looking for love, but I’m coming to an age now where I want to meet my ride or die. I think when it comes along it will hit me, but in the meantime, I’m happy as I am.

Is Dean Gaffney really ready to settle down?

Yes. We’re all on this planet to fornicate and move forward and reproduce. I don’t want to be Peter Pan; I want to grow up. And on a rainy, cold Tuesday I’d like to be on the sofa with my forever girl watching a boxset.

So, you can be a one-woman man?


Have your daughters, Chloe and Charlotte, really banned you from dating younger women?

No, that was a comment I made that was taken out of context. It was the tabloids spinning lines. I’m still my daughters’ dad at the end of the day, so they wouldn’t speak to me like that. We have a very good relationship and we take the mickey out of each other, which is great. If you read the tabloids you would think I was a part-time dad when they were growing up, but I woke up in the same house as them for 18 years. People I’ve dated since their mother [Sarah Burge, who split from Dean in 2015 after 22 years] have been younger, but maturity comes with being older, and I’m not sure I want to be with someone who is worrying about filters on Instagram.

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Chloe and Charlotte are gorgeous – do you carefully vet their boyfriends?

I've always kind of said I don't want to meet anyone until they’re serious and in a proper relationship. I gave my daughters two rules when they were growing up: 1) Don’t smoke, because I think it’s disgusting and 2) Don’t be easy and don’t be that girl that’s in and out of situations. Thus far, they’ve lived their lives like that, and if me or their mother meets someone, it’s someone they’re serious about. I don’t just want to meet guys, I want to meet the guy.

It must be quite intimidating for potential suitors to try and get your seal of approval?

My friends used to say that I’d be running around with a shotgun and wouldn’t let my daughters out at night. But they’re 23 now and I have to loosen the reins. They’re adults and if they want mine and Sarah’s advice, we’ll give it to them, but I certainly don’t tell them what to do.

Have you been offered shows like Strictly and Dancing on Ice in the past?

When you leave a show like EastEnders you get a lot of phone calls, but I always say you won’t see me on a celebrity farm or anything like that. I couldn’t do Dancing on Ice because Strictly leads the field with those shows, and I wouldn’t want to ruin my chances if Strictly came knocking. Bar the jungle, which I’ve already done, it's the biggest show out there.

Can you dance?

I went to Sylvia Young drama school but I had two left feet, so I think I would be more John Sergeant than Kelvin Fletcher. I would either be the clown, which isn’t what I want, or I’d be the most improved.

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What would be your dream acting role?

I want to do something completely different to Robbie, who is very happy-go-lucky and the butt of people’s jokes. I’d like to do a nice gritty drama where I shave my head or play a crack addict and people go, “wow”.

Would you ever head over to Hollywood?

Hollywood is the mecca for the acting profession. I mean, if you make it in Hollywood you’re sorted and it’s everyone’s dream, but it’s a very cliched dream and it doesn’t always work out. There would have to be something that took me over there. To up sticks and move to LA at 42? It just isn’t where I’m at right now. Being successful in the country I was born in for 27 years is enough for me.

Would you ever go back to EastEnders?

I was invited to the 35th anniversary party and there's no animosity there. You know, a situation arose and they had to deal with it the way they saw fit. But the beautiful thing was they said, “Please come back to us.” The fact that was said is amazing, because I know it’s not said to everyone. It feels like a genuine family that cares and wants the character to come back.

How do you feel about comparisons between you and David Gandy?

(Laughs) He should be so lucky! I think if you squint one eye, turn the page of a magazine upside down and look from several miles away, you might see a bit of a resemblance between the two of us. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to a multi-millionaire model? I’d love to know if he’s ever been stopped and told he looks like Dean Gaffney.

Have you two ever been in the same room at the same time?

No. And there’s a reason for that.

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