The gorgeous TV star on searching for his soulmate and launching his new dating app, Chappy.
At Friday night’s glittering British LGBT Awards, we caught up with the infinitely charming Ollie Locke. He’s just launched Chappy, a brand new, groundbreaking dating app for gay and bi men. As the website tells you it’s, “Part Romance. Part Rendezvous. All Gentleman.” We couldn’t wait to find out more.
OUTNEWS GLOBAL: How did your new dating app, Chappy, come about?
OLLIE LOCKE: I met Whitney Wolfe, who started Tinder in the beginning and then started Bumble for feminist empowerment. I said to her, “What you’ve done for feminism is exactly what I want to do for the gay community.” Two days later we signed a partnership for life.
Amazing. So what makes Chappy different to the other apps out there?
We’re trying to bring the community together in a way that Grindr and all of that stuff doesn’t. We’ve spent so long trying to build this incredible community, which we have done. However, the platforms to meet gay men are not there. Since gay dating apps started, they have evolved the whole gay male community to believe they can only have hook-ups. There’s no respect. There’s no boundaries. That is a major problem.
And how does Chappy aim to fix it?
You can choose Mr Right or Mr Right Now on a sliding scale. You can actually choose your happy ever after so that’s really special. You have to have your real name. You can’t just make up some horrible name. You’ve got to have your face in every photo. You’ve got to have your real age. We’re bringing in something that I’m so unutterably passionate about. We’re bringing something out that I would prefer my 18 year old son, if he ever comes out, to turn around and be like, “I’m on this”. I’d say, “That’s fabulous.” It’s much safer. The idea that a 70 year old man can send an 18 year old boy a picture of their dick without any communication is what the competitors are doing. It’s not reflective of the community. So that’s why I changed it.
What about you, Ollie, are you interested in Mr Right or Mr Right Now?
I’m always looking for Mr Right! Always, always. I’m not really a hook-up kind of guy. It’s quite sad really. I didn’t even snog at my own launch.
Maybe tonight’s the night? There are definitely a lot of gay guys here.
Well, who knows! I’m delighted to be here. I’m looking forward to tonight.
Finally, why is it so important to you to be here at the British LGBT Awards?
Any celebration for any part of any community is important. It’s uplifting. It builds awareness. But also for anyone struggling, we can see all these amazing people gathered together winning awards for being such a wonderful gay. It gives someone a little beacon of hope, I really believe that. It’s heavenly and it’s something that I adore.