Monday 24 July 2017

TV3 'inundated' with applications for Blind Date ahead of new series

TV3 unveiled comedy superstar Al Porter as the host of its brand new entertainment show Blind Date. Pictures :Brian McEvoy
TV3 unveiled comedy superstar Al Porter as the host of its brand new entertainment show Blind Date. Pictures :Brian McEvoy
Cilla Black

Sean O'Grady

Blind Date producers are going to have a tough time choosing new show's crop of contestants as they have been "inundated" with applications.

The TV series, which will be fronted by Tallaght funnyman Al Porter, is coming to TV3 later this year and is encouraging anyone interested to apply.

While the response has been remarkable, bosses are eager to receive more applications from the LGBT community, as the modern version of the series will feature gay couples for the first time.

"Our application process has been open for two weeks now, and we're encouraging people from the LGBT community to come forward," said casting producer Catherine Neylan.

They also want older contestants to apply.

"With these kind of things you'll see younger people are always more inclined to apply because it's online," Neylan told the Herald.

"People in that age group are more on the dating scene, so we would like more older people to apply as well."

In the application process, would-be daters are asked a range of questions to help them find their perfect match.

Cilla Black
Cilla Black

Producers will contact successful applicants later in the summer to meet with them to get a better sense of what they are looking for in a partner.

"It's very early stages right now, but once we have the applications down we'll probably do a meet-up day where we can see people," said Neylan.

"It's always different from taking them from the application form to getting a bit of face-time with them.

"That's the next stage. After we meet everyone, that's when we'll start putting groups together.

"We ask questions like, what are you looking for in a man or a woman? What's your idea of a perfect date? What's the age range you want to date? We'll use those criteria to put the groupings together.

"We want pensioners, we want people who are divorced, separated, single. We want everyone."

The original Blind Date first aired on ITV in 1985 and was hosted by Cilla Black.

The series quickly became a massive hit with viewers, staying on the air until 2003.

An Irish version was first said to be on the cards in 2015, with Lucy Kennedy slated to present, before the idea was dropped.

However, new TV3 Group boss Bill Malone revived the idea and brought in Tallaght man Porter to front the show.

RTE's First Dates initially had a lack of men applying for the programme, and Blind Date is no different.

"We're the same. Maybe that's the state of the nation. Where are all the men gone?" Neylan joked.

Those interested can apply for Blind Date on www.tv3.ie/take_part_blind_date.php.  The application process is open until June 30.

Meet Al Porter at the SPAR Fitlive 5k/10k run in the Phoenix Park on July 15

Herald

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