The Hollyoaks women are so hot, but so damn unreachable. To figure out what it takes to date them – hell, someone must be waking up next to them on Sunday mornings – we asked two of its stars, Zoe Lister and Jennifer Metcalfe, to take us into their confidence. Zoe, 26, a trained dancer from Redditch, plays student Zoe Carpenter, a girl with a penchant for older guys and posing in the nude. While Jennifer, 23, is a bold-as-brass Bradford girl who plays Mercedes McQueen, a feisty lass with a history of cheating.


Jennifer Metcalfe:
“Just thinking about the first date makes me cringe. Before going out I’ll have a bath and a shower: the former to shave, the latter to wash my hair. Then I’ll do my hair and make-up myself.

It’s fun to put music on – funky house – and have a glass of wine while getting ready. I’ll wear a little black dress or baggy jeans and a vest top – dead casual, but sexy. I wear nice lingerie all the time so don’t need to think about that. I’d expect him to be wearing anything he felt comfortable in – not a suit.

The first date should be somewhere casual. In Liverpool a bar called Alma De Cuba is fantastic because it’s relaxed and quite dark. But really, it’s best just to go somewhere halfway between the two of you.

I’ll eat anything, so if I want a big plate of chips with cheese all over it, I’ll get it. And pudding.

I’d probably go for English food, as even though I love curry it’s not a good idea, if you know what I mean. Nothing like that really bothers me though. If a guy disappeared to the toilet for ten minutes I wouldn’t mind, I’d just ask him what he’d been up to in a jokey way. Even if he did it at my flat I’d simply tell him the air freshener’s under the sink. Mentioning an ex-girlfriend is fine, because it’s a big part of peoples’ lives. But if he talked about her too much I’d think he was hung up on her and tell him that maybe he should call her… as I left.

I went on a date once that was going really badly, but as a precaution I’d told him it was my mum’s birthday and I might have to leave early. He bored me to death, so I used the excuse and he never twigged. Mentioning an early day at work tomorrow is another good one to use.

I don’t have any rules, but I wouldn’t sleep with someone on the first date. I wouldn’t even kiss them. By the third, however, I’d want to snog his face off. I’m not afraid to make the first move.

There’s no wrong or a right way to have sex for the first time. It depends on how you both connect. I wouldn’t want a guy to be overly passionate or too nice, I’d think that was weird. But that doesn’t mean I want to be ragged about the place either.

And the next day, if I wanted him to leave, I’d just say I’ve got to go home to Leeds. On the other hand, if I wanted him to hang around and he didn’t, I’d just be like, ‘See you when I see you’ 

Zoe Lister:
While getting ready I’ll have a glass of wine to build my confidence, but only one as I don’t want to get hammered. After a shower I’ll put some music on, something like Justice, then refer to a panel of friends for advice on what I’m wearing.

Usually it’s just skinny jeans, a nice top and heels, definitely heels. I’m not a ‘done’ hair kind of person, so the scruffier the better. And for the first couple of dates I’ll have non-matching underwear and unshaven legs, to avoid temptation.

Choosing the venue is best left to the man. Ideally it’s somewhere you can drink and chat. Hollyoaks never really comes up, except when a guy asks about one of the other girls, to which I reply, ‘She’s too young for you. Don’t be such a pervert.’

I’d expect him to buy the first drink, but then take turns. During the evening it’s nice to be told you look good, but be specific, such as how we’ve done our hair – or haven’t done it in my case. 

Being funny is the main thing really. Chivalry is nice too, but ‘smooth’ annoys me. I don’t mind if he smokes, but it would be quite annoying if he kept going outside. If he looks like Brad Pitt, however, he can have as many cigarettes as he wants.

If the whole night’s going terribly I’ll make an excuse. I’ve done that before. I’ll just say something about having a really early shoot the next day. On the other hand, maybe things are going well, in which case it’s up to him to make the first move. If he dithers he’s not going to get a kiss.

I wouldn’t sleep with someone on the first date. I’ve had guys really eager to get back to mine on the first couple of dates and I’m like, “no, babes.” In no uncertain terms, it ain’t happening. They’re just seeing what they can get away with and when you say no, they secretly think it’s a good sign for the long run. 

If things are heading home, I’m happy to get the nightbus. They’re great – frequent, quick and always interesting. Back at mine I’d probably have music and candles. Actually, cancel the candles – they’ll make him think I want to get married. I’d put the Kings Of Leon on or maybe U2. Is that bad? Cancel U2 as well.

Afterwards, if a guy left at 2am it would be totally unacceptable and I’d feel awful. On the other hand, if he was hanging around too long the next day, I’d have to get rid of him. A quick mention that my dad is coming round soon works.”

Original interview by Andrew Hankinson in the September 2008 issue of FHM UK magazine