Fred Sirieix — things you didn't know about the TV star

 Fred Sirieix posing at an event.
Fred Sirieix posing at an event.

For the past decade, Fred Sirieix has been winning hearts as the charming frontman of Channel 4's First Dates - and now he is taking part in I'm A Celebrity 2023.

The Frenchman's resume is nothing short of impressive - he's worked as maître d'hôtel in some of London's most prestigious restaurants and carved out a successful career as a TV personality.

Fred is rarely off our screens. He's presented BBC2's Million Pound Menu and Remarkable Places to Eat, the reality series Ultimate Wedding Planner and joined forces with renowned chefs Gordon Ramsay and Gino D'Acampo for the popular ITV series Gordon, Gino and Fred: Road Trip.

In 2015 he released the music track 'La Vie Continue' with Mark King from the band Level 42 and XO Man, and he also penned his own book titled First Dates: The Art of Love.

But what else is there to know about Fred? Let us fill you in...

Fred Sirieix's parents inspired his love of good food

Fred Sirieix was born on 27 January 1975 and raised in Limoges, a city in southwest-central France.

Fred is one of two boys, and his parents both worked as nurses in the local hospital, which prompted his own desire to enter the service industry.

His mum and dad were also passionate about good eating, as Fred explained in an interview with The Guardian:

"I was born into food. My dad used to say: “We don’t have much money and we don’t have fancy cars, but we always have good food in the fridge and on the table." Every day we had a three-course meal: starter, main, and dessert and cheese before dessert. Every single day."

Fred says his all-time favourite meal is his mum's rabbit with mustard sauce.

He originally wanted to be a chef

After leaving school Fred went to study at catering college. He had aspirations of becoming a chef, but then fell in love with the idea of being front-of-house.

From there, Fred never looked back. He completed his training at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France, then at 19, he relocated to the UK and took on the role of head waiter at Pierre Koffmann's three-Michelin-starred restaurant La Tante Claire.

That's not the only fine dining establishment Fred has worked at - he's also been on the payroll at Le Gavroche, Sartoria and Brasserie Roux - and he held the position of general manager of Galvin at Windows in the London Hilton hotel on Park Lane for 14 years until 2019.

So what's the secret behind his success?

"My skill is making people happy," Fred told The Times. "I will ensure you have a good time."

Training for Strictly Come Dancing made him sick!

Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell
Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell

Fred has worked for some of the most formidable bosses in the food industry, but it was being a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2021 Christmas Special that really pushed him to the limits.

He was partnered up with pro dancer Dianne Buswell and even though the pair got on like a dream, that didn't help keep Fred's nerves at bay.

He recalled the terrifying experience to The Express:

“And as soon as they (Strictly) called me I was so scared. The first sensation, the feeling I had was, ‘My god I’m scared’. It was the fear of the spotlight, being able to do it, being able to perform and not making a fool of myself…"

Fred even admitted he came home and vomited after his first three-hour training session with Diane!

However, his hard work paid off and Fred and Diane finished a very respectable third place in the competition.

His charity teaches prison inmates how to cook

Fred is heavily involved in charity work and is committed to helping those in need.

He has been behind the creation of National Waiters Day, which celebrates the work of front-of-house staff and Galvin's Chance, which supports underprivileged young front-of-house staff in London and Scotland.

Then in 2017, Fred launched The Right Course, a charity that has remodelled staff restaurants in prisons to teach inmates cooking skills and other aspects of the service industry.

In May 2023, The Right Course opened its newest training restaurant in HMP Lincoln, following the success of its eateries in HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Isis.

His daughter is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist

Fred shares two teenage children with his former partner Alessandra Spendolini - 19-year-old daughter Andrea, and son Lucien, who is 14.

Andrea is a professional diver and made history in July when she and Lois Toulson won Great Britain's first ever World Championship diving medal - taking silver in the 10 metres synchro in Fukuoka, Japan. The pair are also European champions.

Proud dad Fred was sat in the crowd and cried tears of joy when Andrea - who he affectionately calls 'Mon Caneton', translation: my ducking - scooped the individual gold at last summer's Commonwealth Games.

His fiancée has an unusual nickname

As Maître d' of the First Dates restaurant, Fred has helped countless singletons try to find that special someone. And his own love life is looking rosy.

The star is blissfully happy with his glamorous fiancée, who he refers to as 'Fruitcake'. The couple went public with their relationship in 2018 and Fred popped the question two years later during lockdown - but had to wait until the shops re-opened to buy her a ring!

Fruitcake is no stranger to the TV cameras, having appeared alongside her famous beau in Celebrity Gogglebox, but neither she or Fred have chosen to reveal her real name or occupation.

In a chat with The Sun, Fred gushed about his other half, saying: "She's a fun girl and she makes me laugh. We just enjoy each other's company, we enjoy walking and all sorts of stuff, like everybody else, it's easy - very simple and very straightforward."

He has a palm tree called Brenda!

When he's not working green-fingered Fred loves spending time in the garden of his southeast London home.

Every morning, the star likes to wander round his little outside oasis and has admitted he likes to think of all his plants as if they're his animals.

And if Fred had to pick a favourite plant, then it would be 'Brenda'!

"I have a palm tree in the front garden I thought was going to die. My son named her Brenda. She has survived!" Fred told The Times.

"I’m very proud of that tree. We talk to Brenda every day, it’s mad. We say, “You’re looking good”, we look at the leaves, we touch her, and see how she is progressing."

If you want to take a closer look at blooming Brenda, then check out Fred's Instagram!

Fred Sirieix's fact file

Frequently asked questions about the TV personality...

How old is Fred Sirieix?

Fred Sirieix is 51. He was born on 27 January 1972.

Is Fred Sirieix married?

Fred Sirieix is engaged to his fiancée, who he affectionately calls 'Fruitcake'.

Does Fred Sirieix have any children?

Fred Sirieix is a dad of two. His daughter is Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix a professional diver, and he has a 14-year-old son called Lucien.

Where was Fred Sirieix born?

Fred Sirieix was born Limoges, France.

How tall is Fred Sirieix?

Fred Sirieix is 5 foot 10.

Instagram: @fred_sirieix

Twitter: @fredsirieix1

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.