In June 1985, Cilla was invited by London Weekend Television (ITV) to film a pilot of ‘Blind Date’ – a new dating game show concept from America (known as ‘The Dating Game’). Although British television watchdogs were initially worried about the programme’s sexual connotations it was Cilla’s involvement which allayed their fears.
Cilla recalls how LWT executives jokingly asked her to front the programme, saying “We want you to do it because we tried to think of the most sexless person on television”. The rest as they say is history…. the show became a national institution with record breaking viewing figures, brightening up Saturday night telly for a staggering 18 years!
In 1997, BAFTA presented Cilla with a prestigious award for her show which acknowledged its significant impact on British pop culture. In 2003, Cilla sensationally quit ‘Blind Date’ live on air following significant changes to the show’s format.
The series debuted on the 30th of November 1985 and ended 31st of May 2003 – it ran for 18 series totaling 380 shows!