Blind Date could return with Claudia Winkleman at the helm

Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

TV executive Dan Baldwin has revealed plans to bring back the much-loved dating show Blind Date, almost four decades after its original debut.


Baldwin, the creative force behind the recent resurgence of Gladiators and Wheel of Fortune, named The Tratiors host Claudia Winkleman as the chosen host for the reboot, signalling a new era for the iconic programme.

The revelation came during Baldwin’s guest appearance on BBC Radio 4, where he discussed the enduring appeal of classic television formats and his ambition to introduce them to new audiences.

“You always look at old shows that are no longer on television,” he said, “You are always coming up with new ways of bringing back a show. As well as coming up with new ideas, we’ve always got one eye on what could come back and what could be a hit like Gladiators is.”

The telly producer continued: “Another one that you’d like to see back, Blind Date, are we ready for that? What a Saturday night that was. I’m thinking Blind Date with Claudia Winkleman on BBC1, how about it?”

Blind Date, which originally aired in 1985 with the legendary Cilla Black at its helm, became a Saturday night staple, running until May 2003.

It briefly returned to television screens in 2017 on Channel 5, with Paul O’Grady hosting, before ending its run in 2019.


In addition to the Blind Date news, Baldwin also teased a celebrity version of Gladiators, promising the same high-stakes drama and underdog triumphs that have become synonymous with the show.

The announcement coincides with Claudia Winkleman’s emotional departure from her BBC Radio 2 show, a role she has embraced for 15 years.