Columnist charitable in matters of the heart

London Lite’s weekly dating columnist, Alice Von Simson, says she is ‘pimping herself out to the general public’ for charity, by putting a date with her up for auction.

Von Simson, who took over from Katie Hind in the free daily’s Tuesday slot in November last year, has listed herself on Rentadateforcharity.com, a site set up by

Lisa Connell, a young woman with an inoperable brain tumour who has decided to raise £1m for charity. 

Von Simson, inspired by Connell’s story, jumped at the chance to get involved.

‘Being an impoverished writer, I don’t have much cash to donate to charities myself, so I was thrilled to find another way to get involved,’she said. 

‘Spending other people’s money has never been so rewarding.”

Von Simson has called on her PR contacts to donate dates, with the highest bidder being able to choose from a couple’s spa treatment at the May Fair Spa, London, a hot-air balloon ride, an evening of karaoke, or a night at Strip Club, and the choice of dinner before or after the date at London’s Papillon in Chelsea, or 1901 at Bank in the City.

Von Simson dispelled any preconceptions potential bidders might have that being a dating columnist would make her good at dating.

She said: ‘This is completely untrue, and the added pressure of people’s expectations seems to make me even worse. 

‘If I am not attracted to you I will probably be quite charming and witty, but if I am attracted I will let you know by avoiding eye-contact, saying inappropriate things, laughing too long and too loud about very little and choking on my food/drink/words.”

The bidding closes 4 August.

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