Spencer Matthews Q&A
As he searches for his Miss Right, The Bachelor's Spencer Matthews talks first impressions, dream dates and his fear of living up to the girls' expectations.
With his brooding good looks and free spirit, Spencer Matthews has already charmed Chelsea; now the Eton-educated star has true love in mind as, against the background of some of the world's most luxurious locations, he seeks out his perfect match in the new series of The Bachelor.
Ahead of a journey that will see him enjoy group meetings and individual dates with 24 gorgeous UK women, single Spencer joins us for a chat about first impressions, dream dates and his fear of living up to the girls' expectations...
What made you decide to take part in The Bachelor?
My friends have been the same since I was 11, 12. I moved over to England when I was 11. Some of my friends – Ollie Proudlock, Hugo, Jamie and everyone – have been around since I was a kid. Basically we all have a keyhole vision of London. We all did the Chelsea show together, and I just thought it was a great opportunity and a good time to move away, and look for something new with someone I’ve never met before – meet some girls that I’d never ordinarily meet, to spread my wings a bit, leave the UK and do something fun and do something new.
Have you watched either any of the first series, featuring Gavin Henson, or the US version of the show?
I think that, however the US versions or however Gavin’s Bachelor was, mine will be extremely different for the simple reason that Gavin and I are very different people. I think the concept of the show is really interesting, and I think it’s going to be a great show.
How have your friends reacted to you being named The Bachelor? Have they given you any advice?
We always all have a lot of fun together. They’re desperately anticipating the first show. They think it’s great and they think I’m very well suited to it. They haven’t given me advice on the girls as such, because they haven’t met them, but they’re looking forward to it and they’re very supportive of me.
What preconceptions do you think the girls might have had about you?
They may have preconceptions of me being a lothario, a love rat as I’ve been described, but I think part of the fun of all of this for me is that I really get to be myself. On a show like Made in Chelsea certain things are created for your entertainment...and you’re not necessarily portrayed the way you really are. I know that my parents, when they watch Made In Chelsea, they say, ‘You’re not like that at all,’ and I’d be inclined to agree with them. So I think The Bachelor is a really great opportunity for me to be myself, and hopefully the girls will like me for who I am and not what they’ve seen in the past on previous shows.
Is there anything the girls have been or might be surprised to learn about you?
Some immediately were quite surprised that I’m not really arrogant like I am on Made In Chelsea, and that I’m actually quite fun and generous – a fun-loving guy who’s kind to all his mates and kind to girls. The way I am on Made In Chelsea is quite different; you fall into a bit of a character and it becomes a bit of fun, but this for me is a real opportunity to just be myself.
What were your first impressions of the girls?
I thought they were great; I thought I was a very lucky man. My main concern was never that the girls wouldn’t be up to scratch; it was always that I wouldn’t live up to their expectations. It was always my problem. I’ve got the luxury of choice, and the fortune to be able to spend time with all the girls and to get to know them a bit. That puts me in a really nice position until I have to say goodbye to some of them. For them I’m the only guy standing at the end of the red carpet, so there’s always that concern of mine that if I’m not what they’re looking for it could be a bit crushing for them. I don’t think anyone has a big enough head to think that they’ll be able to please all 24 girls, so I just [hope] that they like me for who I am and that I live up to their expectations.
Now that you've met the girls, are you confident about there being a potential match among them?
Yes, I think I am. I think that was also a concern in the beginning. I wouldn’t call myself a 1 in 25 kind of person. I think, having met some of the girls on the red carpet, they’re really beautiful and some seem great. So as long as there is a girl who is here for the right reasons, and she likes me as much as I can hopefully develop feelings for her, then I think we should be on to a good finale, and hopefully a lovely relationship afterwards.
What are you looking for in your ideal woman? Would you say you had a particular type?
I don’t have a type looks wise. I think, if you look at a cross-section of my ex-girlfriends, they’re not similar at all. I just look for honesty in a person and someone who’s comfortable with themselves, doesn’t mind having a bit of fun, [is] not overly serious – someone with a strong heart who wears it on their sleeve, and who isn’t self-obsessed, and can just relax and be easy company.
So, there's nothing in particular the girls will need to do to impress - other than to be themselves?
I think the girls that have come in with tactics or game plans are going to reveal themselves. It’s just not the way to play it. I’m not saying that you’ll get cut straight away, but it’s my job to put across the message that I’m just looking for a honest girl who wants to have fun, with a great smile, who’s here for the right reason and who’s looking for what I am. I just urge these girls not to play too many games or have too many preconceptions about what they’re going to do and when, because I don’t think it’s about that.
Would you say you're a good enough judge of character to be able to pick out the girls who do come in with game plans?
I think so. I hope so, because it’ll make everything easier. I think there’s no doubt going to be some secrets that will come out at a later stage, where had I known them I would have perhaps taken a different route. Who knows? Maybe not. We’ll see. That’s the beauty of having all these people, with the ability of telling you whatever they want to tell you: if they want you to know something they can tell you; if they want to hide something from you they can – but it makes my job a lot harder.
What can we expect from the dates?
I’ve got some pretty exciting stuff coming up. I can’t go into detail too much, but as the numbers are vast in the beginning, a smaller amount of time is spent with each person. So I think the dates will become more interesting as the number of girls gets smaller, because you can spend more time with them and go to nicer locations...and we’ll know each other better by then. The show is going to have drama; it’s going to have fights; it’s going to have tears. It’s going to be great. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it progresses, but emotions are certainly running high.
What's your idea of a dream date or night out?
It’s all about the company. You can take a helicopter to the top of a mountain; you can be in a submarine; you can do anything that involves big toys or whatever – but if you’re not feeling the other person’s company, the date won’t work. I think a good view’s always beautiful. I think taking a trip to a nice table somewhere, with a nice view, and just enjoying a nice bottle of red, or rose perhaps, and enjoying each other’s company…I don’t think it gets much better than that. You don’t necessarily have to be extravagant to have good fun.
Has anything about your experience of The Bachelor surprised you so far?
It surprised me how hard it was to say goodbye to some of the girls even at an early stage. It feels like you’re breaking up with people or they might feel rejection, or they might think the decision’s come from malice. It’s not about that at all. It’s lack of connection or a lack of spark – you can’t really put your finger on it, but you have to go with your instincts most of the time out here and hope that you’re making the right decisions in the time you’re allocated.
And, finally, what are your plans for life after The Bachelor?
Obviously to remain with the person who I give the final rose to and crack on with our relationship. In terms of profession, I don’t know. I’d like to remain in media. I’d like to do my own stuff, my own shows, and maybe do a bit of writing, a bit of producing. Who knows? I think at the moment I’m just focusing on finding love.