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He said: “Blind Date is an incredibly special family show which brought laughter, tears and joy to TV viewers throughout out the land.
“I am honoured to present the brand new series and after speaking to Channel 5, I know the series is in safe hands.
Did you notice how Cilla made huge points about how good people looked, when ironically the contestants couldn't actually see each other?
Ah, hurrah for feminist theory, dominant ideologies and the Frankfurt School!
I can’t wait to see if we can find love.” O’Grady and Black were famously close, and he delivered an emotional eulogy at her funeral.
Ben Frow, Director of Programmes for Channel 5, said: “The reaction to the news that Blind Date is returning has been phenomenal and demonstrated the depth of love and affection for the nation’s favourite dating show.
Take a look at the stars who appeared on ' Blind Date' before they were famous. Cilla Black's Saturday night classic 'Blind Date' helped launch a number of celebrities' careers after they appeared on the show, but you'll be surprised at which stars appeared on Cilla's stage looking for love before they were famous.“Paul is the perfect choice to bridge the old and the new, capturing the essence and charm of a series that became staple Saturday night family viewing in living rooms up and down country, whilst attracting and appealing to a whole new generation of TV viewers.” The upcoming season will be the first to feature LGBT contestants.Channel 5 said: “Whilst paying respect to the traditions and family appeal of the programme with the legendary sliding panel, three question format and live studio audience, Blind Date will be updated to reflect the present day, whilst maintaining the humour, charm and cheekiness of the original show.It was announced last month that a revival of the show is planned without its iconic host, with Graham Norton’s production company So Television set to bring it back for a new run on Channel 5.
Today, Paul O’Grady announced he would be stepping into his late friend’s shoes as the host.
Birkenhead-born comedian Paul O' Grady has been confirmed as the new host of Blind Date - taking over the late Cilla Black's most iconic TV role.