Viewers praise Paul O’Grady, but it’s a thumbs down for new Blind Date

Viewers loved having Paul replacing Cilla but were disappointed with the set and no Graham!

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Blind Date returned to our TV screens last night after an 14 year break.

But while show host Paul O’Grady was praised by viewers, many were less than impressed with the newly revamped format and set.

From many comments on social media, it would seem that Channel 5’s reworking of the popular 80s dating series with Cilla Black was so well loved that many changes have been met with disapproval.

For one, viewers felt that the set was too dark and”ugly” and resembled Doctor Who’s Tardis.

Many viewers slammed the new Blind Date set and said it look like the Tardis (Credit: C5)

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One said: “Hmmm was #BlindDate set designer a fan of #DoctorWho”

Another said: “#BlindDate good to see back on screen, always worthy pf a riffle. Shame the set of so poor.”

A third said: “To be fair it doesn’t feel out of place in a world of Take Me Out. I hate the set though.”

Another joshed: “the TARDIS set is dreadful!”

Others commented that they were missing the voice of Graham who used to introduce the contestants back in the original series, who has now been replaced by Mel Sykes.

One viewer said: “Feels so good having #BlindDate in good hands, but missing ‘Our Graham’ though, but I’ll give the replacement time.”

Another sniped: “I’m turning over, where’s our Graham! Melanie just doesn’t do it the same.”

A third said: “Well done to BlindDate keeping it like the original. My only criticism is where’s Graham??, while a fourth said, “Loving #BlindDate. Cilla would be chuffed it’s #paulogrady presenting but where’s ‘Ar Graham’?”

Other viewers moaned about the budget dates offered to the smitten couples.

One couple were sent off to play Junkyard Golf while another pair were lumbered with a date playing table tennis.

One unsatisfied viewer wrote: “I’m old enough to remember #BlindDate the first time round. Don’t remember the prizes/dates being as [bleep] as junkyard golf.”

Viewers also moaned that the dates the contestants were sent on were low budget (credit: C5)

Another tweeted they thought it unfair that the contestants on the show were offered rubbish dates when two “random” dates – who had been used to fill in the ‘previous week’ gap – were flown out to Madrid and Paris.

“So the people on the actual show get date to play ping pong/Junkyard Golf,” they wrote, “but random people go to Paris and Barcelona?? #BlindDate.”

Another viewer mused: “Does #BlindDate not have a budget now? Crazy Golf and TableTennis. What happened to St Lucia?”

Viewers poured praise on Paul O’Grady and said he was a great replacement for Cilla Black (credit: C5)

In spite of the criticism, host Paul O’Grady who went down a storm with viewers.

One happy viewer said: “Paul O’Grady presenting Blinddate is the reason I am happy to pay my license fee.” [sic]

Another added: “Loving #BlindDate being back on the telly, t and Gladiators used to make Saturday night. Paul O’Grady is the perfect host.”

A third said: “Bringing back #BlindDate was the greatest TV decision of all time. Paul O’Grady is perfect for it.”

Earlier this year, Paul said he had agreed to follow in the footsteps of his best mate Cilla to ensure that producers didn’t cast a reality star in the job.

And at the start of the episode, Paul paid tribute to host Cilla Black.

“The reason I’m doing this show is because a certain person left this to me in her will.

Paul told audience members: “The reason I’m doing this show is because a certain person left this to me in her will.” (Credit: FameFlynet)

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“It’s been 14 years since Blind Date was last on our screens and it was presented of course by the late, great, and my friend, Cilla Black. Let’s hear it for her!”

He continued: “The woman who gave me two heart attacks and broke me nose in a Jacuzzi. Oh god I don’t half miss her. But it doesn’t seem like 14 years, does it?”

Blind Date continues next week on Saturday at 7pm on Channel 5.