Ollie Locke, star of Made in Chelsea and Celebrity Big Brother, has recently been touring the UK to promote his dating app, Chappy. Following his event at Exeter on November 8th, I had the opportunity to catch up with him about his app and recent tour. Between having had a tour date in Oxford the night before and also being on the train to Manchester for the filming of Celebrity Mastermind, undoubtedly Ollie must be exhausted. However, that was not evident in speaking to him as he oozed enthusiasm for the significance of the app. From his opening greeting, I was instantly welcomed to the wonder and importance of Chappy.
What is Chappy?
Chappy is a brand new – or relatively old now – gay dating platform where men can respectfully and safely build relationships with people they would like to spend time with, whether it be something serious, or something more spontaneous.
Why did you decide to start Chappy?
For hundreds of years the gay community have fought to become equal citizens. Although amazing steps towards equality have come, the dating platform was not reflective of this, as there was no such dating platform available to the community.
What makes it different to other dating platforms?
The fact that it appeals to those looking for something spontaneous or serious alike. Users of the app have the chance to say what they are looking for after signing up, meaning that everyone knows where they stand. It is also linked to Facebook profiles, meaning that people have to provide proof that they are who they say they are, hopefully avoiding catfishes. We also have a screenshot function, meaning that users are alerted when their conversations are screenshotted, making the app a safer environment for personal conversations. This works as a deterrent for screenshots to be sent, hoping to keep the app a responsible place for people to meet.
Tell us about the Chappy tour.
We’ve been travelling around the country, visiting many universities in a range of places. At every event my colleague Ben Moore is there too and we host discussions. We also have two guests at each event, for example, we recently had Simon Jones, who is fantastic in his work in PR. I think it’s really important to have successful gay guys at these events to remind students that they can achieve amazing things regardless of their sexuality.
Why did you decide to come to Exeter?
When deciding where to go on the tour, we looked at a range of universities and picked ones with lots of students and with a range of views towards the gay community. We made sure we went to all angles of Britain which included the South West. I was a bit nervous about the response in the west country, but I had a great experience in Exeter. I met some really wonderful people and the layout of the tour means we have the opportunity to meet people at the discussion in the afternoon, or in a more informal way in the evening. This was really good because it meant people who may not have felt comfortable in the afternoon felt they could have casual conversations with me in the evening. We wanted to give people different ways to learn about Chappy.
Ollie is concluding his tour is early December and his app Chappy is available on the App Store and Google Play now.