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Paul O’Grady signed on to Blind Date to save it from reality stars

The Liverpudlian comedian saved the show from a fate worse than reality death!

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For those of us who lived during the 80s and 90s, Blind Date was a Saturday night telly staple that has burned in our hearts for evermore.

So when we heard that Channel 5 was set to reboot the series, we got seriously worried when it was mooted that producers wanted the show  to appeal to youngsters and be presented by the likes of Vicky Pattison.

Of course, now after an eleventh hour change of heart, which has seen the show being geared toward the 30somethings who watched it first time round, we’re thrilled that the presenter’s slot has been filled by Cilla Black’s bestie, Paul O’Grady!

But managing to bag him as the show’s frontman proved to be a tough job for the show’s producers.

According to the Daily Star, Paul actually turned down the offer to start with out of respect for his old mucker Cilla.

However, the minute he heard that certain reality stars – such as Vicki Pattison – had been approached to appear the show he felt it was his duty to step in and stop it from becoming another trashy sexually explicit pile of trash!

“I said no at first,” he told The Daily Star!

“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.

“I was terrified they were going to give it to some reality person to host”

“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.”

When Channel 5 eventually agreed to give him the job, he issued them with a warning.

He told them that he would only stick with the show if they agreed to ban any reality stars from taking part, suggesting that that type might cheapen the brand.

And the good news is, Channel 5 totally assured Paul he had nothing to worry about.

“We’re going to take Blind Date back to its roots – a gentle, funny show,” the Scally presenter told TVTimes magazine.

“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.”

With Blind Date set to return to our screens in the next few weeks, Paul admits that he has been pretty sought after of late.

ITV bosses were in touch to see if he could be wooed to the channel to hire him for the televisual disaster that is The Nightly Show!

Again he refused.

“I only ever watched one episode,” he admitted, adding, “but I can’t believe they didn’t admit they’d made a big mistake and get it off the TV.”

Blind Date returns to our screens this summer.

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