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With Surprise Surprise established and Cilla Black more bankable than she had been for years, the toothy Liverpudlian moved on to present a “lorra lorra laughs” on Blind Date – a show that owed much of its success to the fact that she never sang on it . . .
With a format based on elements of the US show The Dating Game and an Australian show called Perfect Match, three unseen contestants delivered rehearsed answers to three scripted questions posed by a boy or girl looking for a date.
On the strength of their answers, one was chosen to accompany the questioner on a special trip.
This may have involved anything from a week on the Mediterranean to a day at a safari park, depending on their luck in drawing envelopes.
The following week, the blind daters returned to tell all about their experience and to give honest feedback about their unfortunate partners, while Cilla egged them on.
The first couple to marry as a result of meeting on the show were Sue Middleton and Alex Tatham. Their 1991 wedding was captured in a special programme entitled Blind Date Wedding Of The Year.
Sadly the appeal of the show began to wear thin as the contestants’ carefully rehearsed ad-lib answers started to grate.