There are certain TV programs that have presenters that are hard to replace, where the TV talent has become bigger than the show they present. Lately I shot Sandi Toksvig who took over the presenting of QI after Stephen Fry. A roll that I thought was irreplaceable until Sandi’s name was confirmed. Then it all became clear to me, like a light bulb that pings – “of course it has to be her!!!”
Another of these rolls is the dating show Blind Date. This was Cilla Black’s show and although it has been broadcast a few times without Cilla presenting it, it has largely been left alone. However, now Paul O’Grady has taken over and again it became clear to me that he was of course the only option. What would after all the show be without a slightly camp Liverpudlian? Paul has taken over as Cupid and it still remains to be seen if the show will take off in the same degree as the early Cilla versions did. Will Cupid O’Grady appeal to the audience in the same way as Cupid Black? Will the modern day Cupid manage to sell to to the Tinder and Grinder audience or appeal to all the people who now only watch TV on demand? Not only has Blind Date got a different captain at the helm but it is also battling the TV ratings on a completely different battleground. “What’s your name and where d’ya come from?” may now be answered with a digitised voice saying #LoverBoyFromHull.