Paul O’Grady has been confirmed as the new face of Blind Date.
The comedian and presenter will take over from his close friend, the late Cilla Black, as the host of the much-loved show.
Just two years after her death, the role in which Cilla was most known for and held for 18 years, will be given a re-vamp.
Paul confirmed he would be presenting the programme which is being given a glittering new make-over by Channel 5, despite previous reports that reality TV star Vicky Pattison, 29, would bag the job.
The 61 year old said he was ‘honoured’ to be involved, and described the show as something that ‘brought laughter, tears and joy to TV viewers throughout the land’.
Paul said, ‘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.’
Channel 5 have released an official statement giving some teasing details into the updated version, noting that dating trends have changed a lot since the original inception of Blind Date.
Although Channel 5 bosses say the show has been ‘updated for the 21st Century’, the statement also warns that contestants won’t have technology to hide behind and will have to ‘rely on their basic instincts to find the chemistry’.
‘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.’
Ben Frow, director of programmes for Channel 5, said ‘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.’
During its previous run, three pairs of Blind Date contestants got married with Cilla attending all three of their weddings – we wonder if Paul will get the chance to witness some ‘I dos’!