Mairead Malloy plays Cupid to bankers and celebrities, but can she find love for our cash-strapped and serially single writer?

Tax evasion is not an obvious aphrodisiac, but this is what Simon and I are talking about within five minutes of meeting each other for the first time. We are on a blind date, sipping cocktails in the Dorchester hotel, Central London. “I was on my boat in the Caribbean,” he explains, “when Mairead called to say she had found me the perfect woman. And she was – for a while. But it didn’t last, because she had to move for tax reasons.” Boat? Now he’s talking.

Mairead Malloy, aka Cupid, is the blonde, Irish-born, fast-talking founder of Berkeley International, which, according to its website, is a “specialist agency offering an exclusive, discreet introduction service to find perfect partners and soulmates for discerning, affluent members”. To you and me, this translates as a dating agency for the very rich. Joining fees start at