Paul O'Grady 'morphed into' Cilla Black during Blind Date filming

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 24 April 2017
Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady

New 'Blind Date' host Paul O'Grady has claimed he felt Cilla Black's spirit during filming for the show

Paul O'Grady felt Cilla Black's spirit during filming for 'Blind Date'.

The 61-year-old TV presenter is the new host of the iconic dating show and has claimed he felt like he was turning into his good friend - who died after a fall at her Spanish home in 2015 - during the making of the Channel 5 programme.

Paul said: "I could feel myself morphing into Cilla, the arms were going up and the voice would go down - and I said, 'What is your name number one and where do you come from?' I even said we are gonna have a lorra lorra laughs."

And Paul, who was initially unsure about becoming the show's new host, revealed he has already received positive feedback on the programme from some of his close pals.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: "My mate said, 'You are sort of a bit like her' - and I said 'No, I cannot sing and I haven't got red hair.'"

Earlier this month, Paul promised TV viewers that Cilla - who hosted 'Blind Date' from 1985 until 2003 - will still be part of the revamped programme.

He said: "I can get away with saying things about her because we're mates. Somebody who didn't know her couldn't do that because it might be seen as disrespectful. I can say, 'She left me this in her will. Thanks, Cilla.'

"You can't ignore her. It was such an iconic show and she was synonymous with it. It would be disrespectful not to mention her.

"The old girl will be living on. I'm really looking forward to it."

Paul also said he is proud the show will be embracing "diversity" and will feature same-sex couples, as well as older people looking for love.

He explained: "We've moved on now, haven't we? I didn't even have to fight for that, they were all for it. We've got the over-70s too. You name it, we've got it. We've gone big time for diversity."

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