Take a look at some of the greatest moments on Blind Date

Matchmaking TV show Blind Date is to return after an absence of more than 13 years.

The Saturday night staple, fronted by Cilla Black on ITV between 1985 and 2003, will make a comeback on Channel 5.

Here are some of the highlights from Blind Date’s 18-year run.

First marriage

Alex and Sue Tatham, with their children Charlie and Emily in 1996 (Tony Harris/PA)

Three couples married after meeting on Blind Date. The first were Alex and Sue Tatham, who were introduced by their televisual “fairy godmother” on the dating show in 1988.

Alex picked “Sue number two from the West Midlands” after asking her: “What aspect of accountancy most interests you?”

After Black’s death in 2015, he said she had made sure the pair appeared on the same programme.

Cilla Black (ITV)

“Cilla got very involved in the pairing of the people on the show. So much so, that when I had some professional exams clashing with the original date I was due to be on, they moved Sue to make sure she was matched with me.”

The pair were sent on a date to a medieval banquet in Co Clare, Ireland, and three years later tied the knot.

Cilla and her husband Bobby attended the wedding, which was broadcast on ITV the following day to 17 million people.

Second marriage

David and Lilian Fensom in 1996 (Tony Harris/PA)

Golden oldies David Fensom and Lilian Morris became the second Blind Date pair to make it up the aisle in 1994 after a whirlwind romance. They got engaged 12 days after they met.

The two pensioners, 70 and 71, married in Tiverton, Devon, in front of 50 guests, Cilla and the show’s film crew.

Third marriage

Cilla Black (Yui Mok/PA)

The show celebrated its third wedding in 1998 when Paul Pratt and Anna Azonwanna tied the knot in the Bahamas. As was tradition by now, Cilla attended the ceremony as guest of honour.

The pair met on the show in 1993 and, as of 2015, were still together and had two children.

Paul was picked by Anna after he cheekily claimed he would be “a tiger because I always catch what I aim for” when she asked what animal he would be.

Arguments and mishaps

Cilla on the show ( ITV/PA)

Despite three weddings, the couples who did not get on were a major draw for viewers who enjoyed watching them bicker and squirm on the sofa the week after dream dates in the West Indies – or an adventure park outside Windsor.

A male blind dater on the first show set the trend when his date said she never wanted to see him again.

“I was accused of not paying her enough attention, and I kept calling her Simone, which wasn’t her name,” he said.

Pre-celebrity appearances

A number of celebrity careers were launched on the back of the show, including TV stars Amanda Holden and Jenni Falconer.

In 1991, a young Amanda sported a bob on the show as she revealed a crush on Jack Nicholson. She said she liked “experienced, mature men” as she appeared as one of three women facing questions from Barnaby.

She went on to star in Wild At Heart and Thoroughly Modern Millie before joining Britain’s Got Talent as a judge in 2007.

Cilla’s dramatic departure

(Myung Jung Kim/PA)

During a live broadcast of the show in January 2003, Black dramatically revealed she was quitting the show. It was reported that the show’s production team did not know she planned to make the announcement.

The Liverpool-born former pop star said the show had become more like work than fun and she wanted to leave before it became a “chore”.

“Now I’m looking forward to a year filled with exciting new challenges,” she said.


More in this Section

Seann Walsh avoids Strictly axe as fourth star departs dancefloor

Strictly continues to ride high in ratings after Seann Walsh controversy

David Beckham explains why marriage to Victoria is ‘hard work’

X Factor contestant forced to restart song after announcement blunder


More From The Irish Examiner