Show Discussion: Blind Date

By | June 17, 2017

Saturdays, 7pm,

It looks like Episode one is being repeated Friday at 8pm.

It’s-a Blind-er Date with new host Paul O’ Grady. And Our Graham is now Our Melanie Sykes.

This is a really interesting one – if anyone’s going to be able to make it work in 2017 it’s the warm but acidic tongue of O’ Grady and pitching it as an early evening family friendly affair like the original when all signs previously were it likely being very downmarket is quite brave in a world where there’s a reasonable chance it will be outrated by the steamy Love Island.

Is there much call for Blind Date in a world of Take Me Out and Tinder where people tend to be more direct? We look forward to finding out. Obvious differences is the set seems a bit darker and there will be LGBT+ episodes.

Watched it? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

23 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Blind Date

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Something I always pondered about Blind Date was how it was filmed. Presumably they were filmed to a tight production schedule (it looks like they filmed these episodes daily, for example) and evidently if people are coming back the next week there has to be a production order and time for the dates.

    It’s not like Take Me Out where they can do all the studio bits in one lump and just insert VTs in post with Paddy doing several reactions they can just drop in afterwards (I presume that’s how it works), they’ve actually got to physically come back next episode and talk about it. How did it all work?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      This comment would have been a lot snappier if I could remember the word “logistics” when I was writing it.

      1. Mart with a Y not an I

        I can help with the ‘LWT’ years of the show.
        About 15 years ago, we had a summer temp come in to help out, and he’d been a contestant on Blind Date, a couple of years previously.

        I’ll call him ‘David’ (because that was his name) didn’t actually apply, was already in a relationship (his partner knew one of the researchers from University days), and one day said partner asked as a favour as they were low on ‘lively and outgoing’ contestants, would Dave go on the standby list?

        Of course, he ended up going on the show as one of the three pickees (a wise attempt to reduce the chances of the inevitable) and, of course again, the pickee chose Dave.

        Note – he was not ‘fed’ the questions, or response one-liners beforehand, but suspected the other two had, so to further reduce the chance of the inevitable.

        The date was about two weeks after the studio recording. It was a fly out early morning day one, fly back late afternoon day two jaunt, to the Italian Amalfi Coast (Serrento, if memory serves) and he had to room share in one hotel with the photographer/production assistant, his ‘date’ was in another close by hotel with another ‘date’ producer.

        Once back in the UK, they were driven directly back that evening to LWT, then split up, and taken to what he described as a ‘cleaning cupboard with lights and a camera’ and someone else he’d never seen before asked him talk about the date and his thoughts on the person he’d been with. After that, he was free to go.

        The ‘Lets see how you got on’ section was recorded a couple of months after the date.

        Nothing happened between them (Dave made sure of that) and in the odd moments they had free of the production team on the ‘date’ (which you won’t be surprise to find out wasn’t that much) his date admitted she’d been on a couple of dates with someone at work, and hoped something would develop further – but the contestant researcher didn’t seem bothered by that.

        Of course, in this day and age of more that whiter than white production, that sort of thing wouldn’t be allowed – but it was an interesting couple of pints in a bar after work story he told.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Ah brilliant story, thanks Mart.

          I suppose recording all the dates reaction in a separate recording session makes the most sense, I bit like it was only until a few years ago I twigged Wait Til I Get You Home was a prerecord and they hadn’t actually built a large second set for Noel to run downstairs to just for that five minute segment each week.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            According to Blind Date’s Greatest Hits and Unseen Bits on Youtube, it sounds like the pickees got the questions an hour before recording.

          2. Steve Williams

            In 1998 they did a series of compilations, one of which included the first ever date from 1985, and the biggest surprise was that they were clearly making up the answers on the spot, so it was a bit different to the show we came to know and “love”.

  2. Matt C

    One odd aside I was thinking about is how the carry-over aspect worked at either end of the series – were the final Cilla dates ever ‘resolved’, for want of a better word?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It’d be quite funny if they bought the people on Cilla’s last ep back tonight to tell us how it went 15 years on.

      I’m surprised the last ever Blind Date isn’t on Youtube so we could find out how they dealt with it, similarly tonight’s ep will be interesting to see how they handle not actually having any dates yet.

      1. John R

        I remember the one where Cilla sensationally quit live on air!

        Coincidentally didn’t Melanie Sykes basically take over The Moment Of Truth too? (Celebrities Under Pressure)

      2. Mart with a Y not an I

        The common sense approach to the last edition, would have been not to set up any dates, but to pad it out, with VT’s of ‘the greatest hits’ over the years, and to bring back the couples from the previous week ‘to see how they got on’.

  3. Jon

    I think this is going to be a massive hit by Channel 5 standards.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think a good barometer is how many filthy alternative answers appear on Twitter during the hour.

  4. Brig Bother Post author

    I really enjoyed this and I’m not sure I was expecting to. It really does stress the importance of the host, Paul O Grady’s really good – it’s a show that needs a people person to host and we’ve got a people person who’s also happy to give his honest opinion and is funny with it, which is especially important when some couples don’t really spill much in their post-date interviews. He is believable.

    The format’s exactly the same as the original, except instead of picking from identical cards Paul has a golden envelope, and the dates sound a bit rubbish on paper – junkyard golf and ping pong.

    I thought the timing of the first ad break, before Mel’s summing up, wasn’t great, I thought it ruined the flow, but they seemed to do it properly for game two. Also I ponder if the he said/she said bits felt funnier and more brutal in the original for having its own segment rather than being interspersed during the date as it is now. But it’s not a dealbreaker.

    It’s not really a show I watched much growing up really, but now I’m much older I find it more appealing. I think this has turned out pretty much about as well as you could have hoped, especially given presumably a much tinier budget.

  5. Brig Bother Post author

    1.76m and almost 13% last night which is massive for Channel 5. One episode not a trend, but well deserved. Although I’d be intrigued to see what sort of demo breakdown it got.

  6. Steve Williams

    I mentioned this on Twitter last night, that during the original series’ imperial phase, my flatmate once decided to put themselves on a par with the contestants, leaving the room during the introductions and then sitting with their back to the television. Someone else told me that they used to drape a tea towel on their telly to do the same.

    I wonder if there are any other examples of going to great lengths to play along with a telly show? I know it was always said people specifically bought maps and sat with their back to the TV during Treasure Hunt so they could join in.

  7. Mart with a Y not an I

    A now retired work colleague, who was off on long term leave (nothing too serious) went through a phase of playing along with Countdown (Stelling era, for those taking notes) each day, and using the same scoring method as the show, to see if he could beat both contestants scores.

    Managed to better the studio scores at least one a week.

    In case the pedants are out in force – for the conundrum he had to shout the word out before the contestant buzzed in.
    If they beat him to it and he knew the word, then he marked it down as a no-score, unless both contestants failed to solve it, and he did.

  8. Cliff

    I’m definitely going to spend the whole series wishing it was presented by Lily Savage. And was Blankety Blank.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Good spot, thanks Callum. There was a behind the scenes picture of the pilot doing the rounds a little while ago.


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