Merlin Griffiths is the instantly recognisable barman from C4’s First Dates. He is the man usually tasked with warming the First Daters up and breaking the ice. His cocktail skills are also seen regularly on Saturday Mornings with James Martin (ITV) where he whips up tasty drinks that viewers can make at home. The King of Cocktails, Merlin has been a Bartender and Mixologist for more than 25 years and has worked all over the world. When speaking Merlin shares some of the most hilarious anecdotes from the various series, along with some fabulous, entertaining and little known facts about the world’s most famous cocktails. He is a cracking speaker who entertains, informs and everyone goes home wanting to knock up a cocktail. Merlin is also in high demand for Meet and Greets and providing corporate cocktail sessions. These are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to pre-dinner drinks.
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Read more about Merlin Griffiths
has worked around the world. And his somewhat eclectic list of jobs includes working in Soho cocktail bars to high volume restaurants, members clubs, nightclubs, corporate events and two years in India with Taj Hotels. He spent three and a half years working in global marketing for Bacardi as Global Ambassador for Bombay Sapphire Gins and Oxley Gin. The role subsequently saw Merlin travel extensively across the world.
A walking encyclopaedia of anything to do with spirits and cocktails, Merlin has appeared in First Dates since series one in June 2013. It is a hugely popular TV show which continues to attracts millions of fans of all ages. Merlin also appears on ‘Saturday with James Martin’ creating cocktails for viewers to make at home.
In 2021 Merlin was diagnosed with Stage 3c bowel cancer and is now in recovery following several major operations and treatment. He has participated in several cancer awareness campaigns and is always willing to share his experience and talk frankly and openly about this disease.
He met his partner Lucile at a cocktail competition more than a decade ago in London. Initially Lucile and Merlin took over The Priory Tavern in 2010. They took influences from classic British pub food and their time working in Canada and America. Consequently, the couple’s pub won Regional Cellar Keeper of the Year in 2015. Their current business, and third pub, is called The Dog & Gun and sits on Walton village green. Merlin and Lucile are currently renovating it into a really super and charming pub. They have one daughter and two cats.
Merlin is a keen cyclist.