Denise Van Outen and Britannia Rescue help save brits from dull dates

  • Breakdown provider Britannia Rescue has teamed up with Denise Van Outen to help Brits in need of rescue from boring dates
  • New Dateside Rescue Hotline has been set up to provide those on a dull date with the perfect excuse to make a swift exit
  • Service launched as research reveals daters will tolerate just 51 minutes of a bad date before making an excuse to leave, with over a fifth of us reporting we’ve left a date halfway through
  • Study finds daters take on average 25 minutes to decide if they and their date have a spark

As cuffing season draws to a close, and thousands of singles prepare to hit the dating scene, breakdown provider Britannia Rescue, part of LV= General Insurance, has joined forces with TV personality Denise Van Outen to help rescue Brits from boring dates.

The new Dateside Rescue Hotline has been set up to provide those who find themselves in need of rescue from dull dates with the perfect excuse to make a swift exit. In the run up to Valentine’s Day, Brits can now text or WhatsApp “I need a Dateside Rescue” to 07830794713 to be sent the perfect reason for making a speedy exit via message.

The service has been launched as new research reveals people will tolerate an average of 51 minutes of a bad date before making their excuses to leave. For those of us getting bad vibes before a date, we’ll typically cancel 19 hours before it’s due to start while a fifth have left halfway through.

The top excuses given to get out of a date include an emergency at work, unwell relatives, and a broken-down car. While the number one go-to for avoiding a date with someone is feigning sickness.

The study, commissioned by Britannia Rescue, finds it also takes daters just 25 minutes to decide if there is a spark between them and their date and, even where there isn’t one 58 per cent have sat through the date citing a need to be polite (72 per cent), thinking it might get better (37 per cent) and feeling uncomfortable saying anything (36 per cent) as their reasons for doing so.

Other excuses we give to get out of a date included work deadlines, friends or family showing up unannounced and being stuck in traffic. Of those who have left mid-date, popular tactics to ‘escape’ were friends phoning with a fake emergency, claiming to have a headache, and even saying their pet is ill.

Rudeness (48 per cent), constantly checking their phone (37 per cent) and an awkward atmosphere (36 per cent) topped the list as behaviours which would cause people to consider making an excuse and leaving a date.

Denise, who has teamed up with Britannia Rescue to curate the excuses generated by the hotline, said: “Over the years I’ve certainly been on my fair share of bad dates. We all know there’s nothing worse than when you just don’t click with someone, and desperately want to be rescued! I had a lot of fun coming up with the excuses for this one- and hope the Britannia Rescue service goes a little way to help elevate the pain of bad dates this February.”

The Dateside Rescue Hotline will run from the 1st to 11th of February and will operate at peak dating times from Thursday to Saturday 5-9pm. Excuses generated by the hotline include a fake text from your housemate saying they’ve been locked out, or a text from a needy friend asking for help after a nasty breakup.

Henry Topham, Managing Director of Britannia Rescue, commented: “As a breakdown provider, we’re all too familiar with knowing what it feels like when you need to be rescued and while we’re traditionally in the habit of looking after broken-down vehicles, this February we’re happy to be stepping in to rescue daters from the awful pain of a bad date! Does your date not look like their picture, or won’t stop talking about their ex? Don’t despair because Dateside Rescue is here to help.”

Research also revealed 23 per cent admitted to ‘ghosting’ someone by stopping all contact with them before a date and three in 10 have experienced being stood up. However, for 48 per cent honesty is the best policy, claiming if a date isn’t going well, or they suspect it won’t, they are honest with the other person about their reasons for leaving or cancelling.

Tell-tale signs indicating a date might not be right before even arriving included poor conversation flow (52 per cent), struggling for topics to talk about (50 per cent) and no sense of humour (48 per cent).

For those of us who are luckier in love, for a meet-up to be considered a success, 68 per cent need to feel comfortable, 58 per cent require lots of laughter and 57 per cent simply look for a ‘spark’. More than half of those polled by Britannia Rescue claim to enjoy dating and would even travel an average of 24 miles for a really good date. The top dating venues or activities were found to be a restaurant dinner (38 per cent), drinks at a bar (29 per cent) and a walk (22 per cent).


  1. I’m not feeling well
  2. A family member is ill
  3. An emergency at work
  4. I have a headache
  5. I forgot about something important I need to do instead
  6. Tell them you realise you aren’t ready for a relationship
  7. My car broke down
  8. I have a deadline at work
  9. Friends or family just showed up for a surprise visit
  10. I’m stuck in traffic
  11. I forgot
  12. My pet is ill
  13. I accidentally already ate
  14. I can’t find the date venue
  15. I’ve had an allergic reaction
  16. I’ve been arrested
  17. You look too similar to a sibling or other relative
  18. I’ve just been mugged
  19. You look too similar to my ex
  20. A pipe has burst at home

Notes to editors


A survey of 2,000 respondents conducted via OnePoll



Madeleine Pay
Mischief PR
[email protected]
07814 23 89 53

About Dateside Rescue Hotline

The hotline will operate from the 1st - 13th February 2023 between the hours of 5pm-9pm, Thursday-Saturday. All you need to do is text or WhatsApp “I need a Dateside Rescue” to 07830794713.To receive an excuse, one response only, messages must include the phrase “Dateside”. All texts will be charged at your standard network rate.


About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance

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