Blind Date

After a comeback on the BBC’s Wogan show in 1982, Cilla made a Christmas special at LWT the following year and launched Surprise Surprise and Blind Date soon afterwards. She had seen the original version, The Dating Game, whilst on holiday in America and mentioned the idea to her Surprise Surprise producer Alan Boyd. However, he had already bought the format and made a pilot with a male entertainer. Cilla eventually won over as the ideal host, because Boyd was able to use her “sex-less” demeanour to bypass IBA objections to sexual connotations. These excerpts show the first ever episode of Blind Date from 1985 (left) and the first episode of series two in 1986, hosted by Cilla in arguably the ugliest 80s frocks imaginable. Voice-over by Graham Skidmore.