O'Grady will be presenting in place of his close friend, the late Cilla Black, who died in 2015.
British comedian Paul O’Grady has said that he is “honoured” to have been selected as the host of the revived dating game show ‘Blind Date’ when it returns to screens later this year, in place of the late Cilla Black.
The Saturday night show ran from 1985 to 2003 on ITV, with Cilla Black presenting for 18 years before announcing, live on air, that she intended to step down. Expected to return this summer on Channel 5, the new series will be produced by Graham Norton’s production company and will be filmed in the same London South Bank studio as the original.
Paul O'Grady will be presenting the revived 'Blind Date' on Channel 5
Furthermore, ‘Blind Date’ will feature LGBT contestants looking for love for the first time.
“’Blind Date’ is an incredibly special family show which brought laughter, tears and joy to TV viewers throughout 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. I can't wait to see if we can find love.”
In the age of Tinder, the revival of ‘Blind Date’ might sound like a rather quaint idea. However, an official announcement from Channel 5 said that they had “updated [it] for the 21st Century… to reflect the present day whilst maintaining the humour, charm and cheekiness of the original show”.
“With no chance to swipe left, send a selfie or message back, the class of 2017 must break with modern-day dating convention and rely on their basic instincts to find the chemistry,” the announcement added.
Channel 5’s programming director Ben Frow added: “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.
“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 the country, whilst attracting and appealing to a whole new generation of TV viewers.”