MIDDLE-AGED celebs are flocking to dating apps in their droves as they look for love, quick hook-ups and fun flings.
While the likes of Tinder, Bumble, and Raya are still massively popular with Gen Z and Millennials – now an older generation of men and women are getting in on the act too.
Carol Vorderman, 60, Ulrika Jonsson, 53 and David Walliams, 49, have all turned to dating apps in recent months, and it’s a trend that is only likely to grow.
Celebrity dating expert Anna Williamson says: “Dating apps have definitely lost any stigma or embarrassment when it comes to actively seeking a romantic connection.
“The cool thing is that there are now apps and websites that cater for everyone – age, gender, sexual preference, intentions…so there really is something for everyone.”
More mature users might even outdo the young people on their quests for love by using their years of experience to filter out timewasters.
“Older people are embracing the digital age and the benefits of being able to look for and chat to possible suitors in the safety of their own homes online,” says Anna.
“It's no longer just a young person’s playground… watch out for the older crowd, they're often more considered and confident in what they want and who they want and finding like-minded people online has enabled them to open the pool of possibilities.''
Single Ulrika, 53, recently revealed she was turned on to Tinder by a pal keen for her to talk to someone new after her split from husband Brian Monet.
And the matchmaking service is confident she will find Mr Right using it, with a spokesman telling us: “We welcome Ulrika to Tinder. There have been over 60 billion matches made globally so we're confident that Ulrika has come to the right place!”
Lockdown has robbed the mum-of-four of the chance of meeting a man in the flesh and getting off on the buzz of a chance encounter on a night out.
She begrudgingly took her friend’s advice, created a profile and discovered a different kind of thrill: fantasy chats with younger men.
For her, the experience proved to be a gateway into a world of dating that was more familiar to her children.
But from the moment she was offered penis pics from randy randoms, she resigned herself to the fact that she wasn’t going to find her happily ever after on it.
That didn’t stop her from turning her Tinder experience into a sexy game of flirtatious chatter though, with her writing in The Sun: “If it’s a game for the guys, you can be damn sure I’ll make it a game for me, too. I also have needs, after all, and I won’t be made to feel shame or embarrassment because I do.”
Tinder’s famous swipe technology, which lets users approve or dismiss another singleton with a flick of the thumb, has led to accusations that it's a shallow platform.
But supporters argue it’s just a digitised version of checking out an attractive stranger in a pub.
It’s far more open than its rival Raya which famously only accepts eight per cent of applicants after a vigorous screening process.
The exclusive platform is marketed as a matchmaker for the rich, famous and successful – and as a result is popular with celebrities.
A-list names such as Ben Affleck, Friends star Matthew Perry and Demi Lovato have all allegedly used the app, which has only added to its mystique.
Carol Vorderman, 60, revealed she was inundated with offers from both men and women during her brief time on the app, which charges a £7.99 monthly fee.
But the former Countdown star admitted she prefers the more traditional way of finding a date.
She said: “A mate of mine said it would be a laugh. A lot of LA people made contact, men and women funnily enough, but it’s not my scene.”
Bake Off winner Candice Brown, 35, joined the app last year following her split from husband Liam Macauley.
In understated fashion, the baker wrote “food stuffs and pub” in her bio, with no mention of her celebrity career.
While her choice of song to accompany her pictures was the ominously titled Foo Fighters track Long Road To Ruin.
Famous men are also eager to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to the app scene.
In November we revealed Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, 49, had signed up to Raya.
After a string of high profile relationships and being linked to stunning beauties including Page 3 favourite Keeley Hazell, David hoped to find love a different way.
His suave profile shot saw him wearing a black shirt and sporting a salt and pepper beard.
There was no pretence in his short bio, with him simply listed as a writer and actor.
While unlucky in love EastEnders legend Dean Gaffney was also revealed as a member in January.
The actor has been single since 2019 when he split up with younger model girlfriend Rebekah Ward.
A stint on Celebs Go Dating proved fruitless as did a lockdown spell on female-friendly dating app Bumble.
The popular app, which recently floated on the New York Stock Exchange with a value of £9.4billion, separates itself from its rivals as conversations only happen if women start them.
Sharon Stone, 62, was famously booted off the app when her account was reported as fake.
However, bosses quickly intervened after the mishap went viral, and the Basic Instinct star was allowed back into the hive.
No matter which app you go for, it seems it’s never been so easy to find romance with a celeb.
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