Paul O'Grady says revamped Blind Date will be classy, not trashy

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady has said the new revived Blind Date series will stick to its roots.

Paul was a close friend of original host, the late Cilla Black, and took up hosting duties to avoid her reputation being tarnished.

He told the TV Times magazine: "I was very wary because Cilla's so associated with it and it's such an iconic show, I didn't want to mess it up.

"Then I was terrified they were going to give it to some reality person to host, and it would be shunted to a late-night slot in between programmes called Dogs on the Dole and My Left Breast."

Speaking about his plans for the new run, Paul went on: "We're going to take Blind Date back to its roots. A gentle, funny show.

"I told Channel 5 I don't want any of the TOWIE lot or contestants that have been on telly before, there's too much of that on TV now and I'm not interested."

Paul previously revealed he originally turned down hosting Blind Date on Channel 5.

"When they asked me I said no, because it’s so firmly associated with Cilla," he told the Daily Mirror newspaper. “Then I had a think and I had a mental image of her sitting on the couch with a glass of champagne, screaming with laughter.

“The producers said it felt like a natural progression and her son Robert said she’d be over the moon, so I said ‘Yeah, go on, I’ll do it’.”

Paul went on to say he wasn't planning to "mess" with the programme and intends to show the series "respect".

Blind Date is expected to air in the summer on Channel 5 on Sunday nights.

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