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Edinburgh Evening News
Fri 30 Jan 2004
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Chat-ups and downs of the smooth talkers

Miranda Fettes

YOU’D think they would know better. But being successful, good-looking, famous and wealthy doesn’t, it appears, guarantee any sophistication when it comes to courting, or make red-blooded young males any less inclined to use chat-up lines worthy of a World Cheese Award.

While you may imagine such a specimen would have enough women queuing up to render his desperate chat-up lines redundant for life, the evidence points to the reverse. For the likes of Calum Best - Calvin Klein model son of football legend George Best - and Peter Andre - 90s pop prince known originally for his tanned six-pack and more recently for flirting with glamour model Jordan on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here, are no strangers to cringe-inducing chat-up lines.

Perhaps it’s the smug knowledge that they could have their pick of dozens of girls which has made them even more jaw-droppingly confident in delivering vintage cheddar chat-up lines.

While he may live up to his surname in the looks department, the same couldn’t be said for Best’s courting technique, which has just been branded the worst in the world of showbusiness.

"Do you know who I am? I bet you’d like to," he reportedly said in a recent attempt to entice a dancer named Angel back to his hotel room. Undaunted by her unimpressed response, he persisted: "Do you have many famous people in here? My dad is George Best. He’s famous for being a footballer. I’m famous for s******* women. Can I stroke your hair extensions? So are you going to get naked for me?"

Needless to say, Angel was not best pleased.

Andre, meanwhile, who is currently battling for survival on the third series of I’m A Celebrity . . . has been tirelessly chatting up buxom Jordan in the Australian Outback. His best line so far has been "let’s s***." So far, she has resisted.

Indeed, Andre claims something of a reputation in the chat-up department. "The quickest line I ever used was when I went up to a girl and said: ‘are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ She said ‘maybe’ and I said ‘well, let’s go’," he says with pride.

Neither Best nor Andre would win a prize for subtlety, but at least their lines have left the recipients in no doubt as to their intentions. Michael Douglas was even more forthright on his first date with Catherine Zeta-Jones when he said: "I want to father your kids."

Indeed it seems when a man has a line there’s no holding him back - even when the woman is most definitely out of his league. Even Cameron Diaz has faced her share of bad chat-up lines. "One guy actually said to me: ‘It’s a very nice dress but it would look much better on my bedroom floor,’" said the actress in disbelief.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry is well known for exploiting his royal status in the quest for female company, asking a string of young ladies: "Want to come back to the palace for a drink?" A number have allegedly succumbed to his charms, accompanying the prince back to "Club H" - his personal basement den at Prince Charles’ estate in Highgrove.

But according to a survey by snack firm Snack-A-Jacks, nine out of ten people said if their dream date ever approached them it wouldn’t matter what they said, they would still go out with them. Two thirds of people claim to have succeeded in wooing someone with a one-liner, while twice as many women as men are successful with chat-up lines, even though men are three times as likely to try.

"We find the initial line is only worth as much as the conversation that follows it," says William Benedict, Edinburgh trainer for the Relationship Academy, based in Royal Overseas House in Princes Street. "What you’re looking for with a so-called chat-up line is to attract somebody’s attention so that they will give a meaningful response rather than a basic response.

"If you ask somebody the time, they’ll just give you the time which is a basic response. But if somebody laughs at or are flattered by something that you say, that’s a meaningful response and that’s what you’re looking for.

"A lot of guys go around thinking that there must be some holy grail of a chat-up line out there that would work with anybody, but there’s no single magical secret."

There are those that do work. Even Anne Robinson was seen to smirk when a Weakest Link contestant tried his line on her: "Do you know how much polar bears weigh?" "No," she replied. "Neither do I but I thought it would break the ice."

So here are some of the worst lines which should never be used, and some which could land you with a date at the end of the night.

For more, check out Great Pick Up Lines, published by Ravette, £4.50.

Worst chat-up lines..

"Do you come here often?" Not very original, is it?

"How do you like your eggs in the morning? Fertilised?" Officially the worst chat-up line, as voted by four in ten women.

"Your dad must be a thief because he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes." It’s in the same vein as "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" and "Can I have directions . . . to your heart?" Blurgh.

"You don’t know me but I dreamt about you last night." Could have stalker tendencies.

"If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?" If you’re looking for a life-long partner, best steer clear of this one.

"Is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to heaven?" Not even worthy of a response.

"Here’s 10p for the phone. Call your mum and tell her you’re not coming home tonight." How about call the police instead.

"Your legs must be tired, because you've been running through my mind all night." Please.

"Is it hot in here . . . or is it just you?"

"Is there an airport nearby or is that just my heart taking off?" Gorgonzola.

"If I could re-arrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together." Oh dear.

"I’m sorry - I’m an artist and it’s my job to stare at beautiful women/men."

"Do you wanna go to this shagadelic party, baby, where we can make love with each other and maybe other people as well?" May work for Austin Powers, but if you don’t want a sharp twist to your mojo, forget it.

Most successful chat-up lines..

"Can I buy you a drink?" Believe it or not, four in ten people of both sexes will say ‘yes’ - although they may have a rather obvious ulterior motive. Straightforward, to-the-point and, most importantly, implies the chatter-up is prepared to part with money.

"Would you like a drink or do you want the money?" Humour is an aphrodisiac, regardless of gender or sexual persuasion.

"Do you believe in love at first sight or shall I walk past again?" Quite high on the cheese count but likely to get a laugh nevertheless.

"Do you like to dance?" - to the object of your affection’s friend. If they say yes, you continue: "Well could you, so I can talk to your friend?" Perhaps a touch harsh on the friend but still likely to intrigue the one you want to impress.

"You’re looking gorgeous today." Successful as long as it’s not at the other end of a long-distance phone call.

"Do you know the essential difference between sex and conversation?" ("No.") "Want to go upstairs and talk?" May get a laugh - but be warned: equally likely to result in a slap.

"Good evening, I saw you at church this morning with your parents and I was wondering if you would like to go on a tandem bike ride together along the apple blossom trail?" You never know - old-fashioned charm can work wonders.

"Damn, if being sexy was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged." Cheesy, but everyone secretly likes being told they’re sexy.

"Do you mind if I end this sentence in a proposition?" Suggests a degree of intelligence.

And finally, some good put-downs

"Haven’t we met before?" - "Yes, I’m the receptionist at the VD clinic."

"Is this seat empty?" - "Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down."

"Your place or mine?" - "Both. You go to yours and I’ll go to mine."

"So, what do you do for a living?" - "I’m a female impersonator."

"What sign were you born under?" - "Access denied."

"I know how to please a woman." - "Really? Then please leave me alone."

"I want to give myself to you." - "I don’t accept cheap gifts."

"If I could see you naked, I’d die happy." - "Yes, but if I could see you naked, I’d die laughing."

"I want your children." - "Fine, they’re over there."

"Didn’t we meet in a past life?" - "Yes, and I wouldn’t go out with you then, either."

"Shall we go all the way?" - "Yes, as long as it’s in opposite directions."

"I have had part of my body pierced. Would you like to know which bit?" - "Your brain?"

"How did you get to be so beautiful?" - "I must have been given your share."

"Hello." - "Goodbye."

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