THE JUDGES

Charly Lester

CEO & Founder

One of Britain’s leading Dating Industry experts, Charly Lester set up the UK Dating Awards in April 2014 as a response to the emails she received from readers of her dating blog ’30 Dates’, asking for advice on which dating sites and apps to use.

Renowned for her honesty and first-hand experience, Charly’s dating advice has appeared in the Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Mirror, Metro and Evening Standard. Charly is a regular guest on Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour, and represented the entire online dating industry on BBC Newsnight, following the Tinder/Vanity Fair row. At the end of 2015, Charly was chosen as an expert advisor for Lord Sugar in the final of the BBC’s The Apprentice. This year Charly has appeared on expert panels for Londonist, and at both AdWeek and the Europas

Charly was the first ever Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian’s Soulmates blog, and runs regular Guardian Masterclasses. In January 2015 Time Out media group created the role of Global Head of Dating specifically for Charly. Charly has worked in an advisory capacity for numerous major dating brands and is currently writing a book at Tinder’s effect on the online dating industry.

Here we are - year three, and I’m excited to say that the Awards are getting bigger and better! It’s so good to see the Awards becoming the international brand of excellence I always hoped they would be. This year The Dating Awards have travelled overseas, with the launch of the European Awards in Amsterdam, and the US Awards in New York, which has been an incredibly exciting experience, but it’s great to be returning to the HAC once again. Let’s get this year’s party started!.

Follow Charly on Twitter @30Dates, and check out her blog at 30datesblog.com

Caroline Brealey

Head Judge

Caroline is the founding matchmaker of Mutual Attraction, London’s leading award winning dating agency. Described as the ‘matchmaker of matchmakers’ by BBC Radio 4, Caroline is a leading authority in the matchmaking industry and is regularly called upon to give relationship advice in local and national press. You may have spotted her on Good Morning Britain, Channel 5 and in The Times, Telegraph and Glamour to name a few.

A finalist in the 2014 Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Caroline has an eye for a good business as well as a good match and will be putting this to good use as head judge. Supporting and training the matchmakers of tomorrow through her training programme ‘Matchmaker Academy’ she takes an active and hands on approach to changing the face of matchmaking.

In addition to winning an iDate Award in 2014, Caroline won the title of Matchmaker of the Year at the inaugural UK Dating Awards and was the Head Judge at both the 2015 UK Dating awards and at the first European Dating Awards that took place this year in Amsterdam.

I am delighted to be back on the judging panel for the UK Dating Awards. Reading the applications is incredibly awe inspiring – there are so many great individuals and businesses doing incredible things in the dating sphere. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring!

You can read more about Caroline at www.carolinebrealey.co.uk or www.mutualattraction.co.uk and stop by to say hi @matchmaker_miss

Katy Horwood

Katy is the founder of the award-winning blog - All Sweetness and Life, and is considered a leading authority on dating and relationships within the industry. Her writing is always open and witty, and looks at the dating world from a ‘front line perspective.’ Katy prides herself on delivering sound and honest advice to her readers on all subjects dating related, and fearlessly exploring all subjects no matter how taboo or controversial.

Besides her blog, Katy writes for Metro.co.uk and The Huffington Post, along with a number of other well-respected dating sites. She also speaks regularly on both LBC and BBC radio - most recently debating the pro’s and con’s of ‘dick pics’ on Woman’s Hour!

Katy was thrilled to win both Best Dating Blogger and Best Dating Blog at the UK Dating Awards 2014 and win Best dating blog at the UK Blog Awards 2016.

I’m thrilled to be involved in the UK Dating Awards 2016, having seen it grow into the biggest event in the dating industry calendar, and the entrants of an increasingly high standard year on year - I can’t wait to see what this year holds in store!

Read All Sweetness and Life here, or follow Katy on Twitter @katy_red

Dan Winchester

Dan Winchester has worked in the online dating industry since 2005, when he founded one of the UK's first free dating websites, FreeDating.co.uk. He is an active supporter of the dating industry, speaking at various dating conferences, and more recently helping to set up the UK's Online Dating Association, of which he is a Director. The Association promotes best practice and standards for companies running dating websites.

Dan is particularly passionate about eradicating scammers from dating sites, and to this end he co-founded Scamalytics which allows the dating industry to share intelligence about scammers abusing their services.

It's great to see the UK Dating Awards enter its third year. In a period where the industry is going through unprecedented growth and disruption, celebrating high standards is more important then ever.

For more information about Dan visit dan.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @freedating

Hunt Ethridge

Hunt Ethridge is the co-founder of International Dating Coach Association (IDCA), the head coach at New York Dating Coach, and also has his own practice at HuntForAdvice.com. He has coached hundreds of men and women over the last decade and strives to turn each individual into the best version of themselves. While the focus of his coaching is on making someone empirically more dateable, the lessons learned translate very easily into personal and professional lives. The emphasis is on confidence building, leadership, image & style, conversation skills and more.

He has been featured on FOX, ABC, NBC, CNN, Huffington Post, Telemundo and more as well as being featured all over the web as a guest writer, speaker, entrepreneur and coach. He has been voted Top 8 Dating Coaches in the US, Top 10 Blogs for Dating Questions as well as one of NYC’s top 10 Dating Coaches by DatingAdvice.com. Hunt is also the main instructor at IDCA, certifying coaches all across the globe.

He is currently writing his first book and hopes to have it out soon!

I am excited to be a part of the UK Dating Awards! The wonderful people in our field are working tirelessly to bring happiness to the masses and it's great to see them being recognized. As well, it make me feel good to see our industry ever expanding into the UK and other areas. I can't wait to see what the new batch of UK professionals can bring to the table!

Rebecca Perkins

Rebecca is the inspiring founder of The Midlife Coach and co-founder of Irresistible Dating along with Saskia Nelson. Rebecca is also author of very popular guide to midlife Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife. She began writing as a way to make sense of her life after the ending of her 20 year marriage. As a coach Rebecca works closely with clients (often in midlife) guiding them to make profound changes to their lives. She is talented and dedicated, a role model for those wishing to make substantial positive changes in their lives.

She is an energetic woman, direct in her speech and writing, Rebecca is not afraid to tackle the real issues facing those in midlife - divorce, dating, ageing, health - all these are faced with humour and positivity. She is passionate about midlife as time for renewal and a time for making changes. She lives by the motto, ‘if not now, when.’

Rebecca’s experience in the dating world began as a newly divorced woman in her late 40s. She is a big fan of online dating and encourages others in midlife to trust it too. Rebecca met her guy online naturally! She was thrilled to be one of the judges for the inaugural UK Dating Awards in 2014.

Rebecca’s writing has been regularly featured in The Huffington Post, The Guardian Soulmates Blog, and she is the Midlife Dating Expert for eHarmony UK. She has been interviewed for Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and for Robert Elms and Jo Good on BBC Radio London.

I’m thrilled to have been invited back as a judge for this year’s UK Dating Awards. I can’t wait to see what this year brings. There has been so much growth in the industry and it’s going to be amazing to celebrate with those achieving great things.

You can find out more about Rebecca at themidlifecoach.com and drop her an email at hello@themidlifecoach.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Jason Leonard

Jason has worked in the online dating industry for over 8 years as a product specialist, firstly at Times Encounters and most recently at the Guardian News & Media Group, where he was Head of Guardian Soulmates - responsible for the overall user experience and growth of the platform, and where during his time, Soulmates won the UK Dating Award for Daters Favourite Dating Website.

I’m super thrilled to be involved with the UK Dating Awards. As someone who’s watched the industry shift dramatically over recent years, with some incredible work being achieved both online and offline, it’s very encouraging to watch these awards go from strength-to-strength as a platform to highlight the innovation and individual talent within the field.

Laurence Holloway

Laurence is the co-founder of Lovestruck, one of the leading online dating brands in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Launched in 2006, Lovestruck has been at the forefront of the online dating revolution and prides itself on delivering the highest quality in all areas: from customer care through to member experience, product and marketing.
Lovestruck was acquired by the Hong Kong-based DateTix Group in 2016 and is excitingly launching into China and other new locations in the coming months. He was also a founding member and director of the Online Dating Association, which was formed to maintain the best standards in the industry and provide valuable guidance both to consumers and dating business operators.

I'm very proud to be a judge at the UK Dating Awards this year, which will celebrate the huge wealth of talent in the online dating industry in this country. At Lovestruck we know how powerful winning this type of award can be. It's a very special honour that can bring so much to your dating business and is wonderful thing to share with your customers. Good luck to all entrants!

Follow Laurence on Twitter here @laurenceholl

Khalid Khan

Khalid Khan M.Med., MRCOG, MSc, MBBS, FRCOG, FHEA, a consultant in Britain’s National Health Service, is a professor at Barts and The London School of Medicine in England. He is the Chief editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He was a visiting scholar at the Spinoza Chair, the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. One of his previous books won the BMA Medical Book Competition Award in the Basis of Medicine category.

With his co-author Sameer Chaudhry M.D. when he first published their scientific paper on online dating in the BMJ Journal Evidence Based Medicine, the dating industry was dazzled by the presented science-backed strategies for successful online dating. The “Clueless, Dateless, Loveless” book followed a year later in February 2016, offering this same guide to the general public in an easy-to-read, layman’s format excluding the scientific jargon. Well-received, this book went on to win the first annual United States Dating Award for the Dating Book of the Year 2016.

I am used to assessing scientific papers as a journal editor. I am really excited about the opportunity to apply my skills in the dating award judging panel.

Supports the UK Dating Awards

The Online Dating Association welcomes the third annual UK Dating Industry Awards. The Awards are a demonstration of the creativity in the sector and the drive constantly to innovate and improve services.

Online dating services and Apps are part of our social fabric, used by millions. More than a third of all new relationships start and grow this way. That is why ODA members are so committed to high standards and why the ODA logo is a valuable assurance for users. We hope the event and the industry will go from strength to strength.

George Kidd
Chief Executive
Online Dating Association