Blind Date: a guide to finding love on TV

Following the announcement of a Blind Date revival, here's our fail-safe guide to finding love on the 80s original...

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do. If you’re a man, you’ve sprayed yourself liberally with Hai Karate, gelled your mullet perfectly, and you’ve even learned a Sean Maguire song off by heart. If you’re a woman, you’ve grown some boobs. Yet despite all this effort, you still can’t get a date. Is it you? Where do you go from here?

Never fear, because help is at hand in the form of ginger beatle Cilla Black. She will guide you through the murky waters of the dating world and help you find your Prince or Princess Charming, although it should be noted that this approach will only work if you live about twenty years ago.

Are you ready? Good, let’s find you that perfect partner!

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The first thing you have to consider when going on Blind Date (or as it’s more commonly known, ‘Blind ‘d’ Date!’) is whether you want to be the ‘picker’ or the ‘pickee’. There are pros and cons to both. If you are the picker, you are guaranteed a date with one of the three attention seeking dreamboats behind the screen. However, since all you have to go on when making your decision is a selection of badly delivered double entendres, chances are you will inadvertently pick Steve from Croydon, who smells of TCP.

If you take your chances as one of the three pickees, you will have to compete with two other contestants for your chance at romance. You will also be assigned one of three personalities for the duration of the show:

  • The sexy one. If male, you will have your shirt unbuttoned and/or leather trousers. If female, you will wear a minidress and fishnets like a bubbly, fun loving prostitute. All your answers will be thinly veiled references to sex.
  • The clever one. See also – the posh one, the romantic one, the one who looks slightly embarrassed to be there. You will possibly be wearing glasses and a beret, and will be called Giles or Lucretia. All your answers will be thinly veiled references to Schopenhauer.
  • The wacky one. You will wear a leotard, neon Bermuda shorts, or similar. You will have a ‘wacky’ talent such as disco dancing or plate spinning, which you will insist on showing to Cilla before the proceedings begin. Your name will be something like Melvin, even if you are a woman.

Once your personalities have been assigned, you can all take your designated seats, and the show can begin.

If you are the picker, you don’t really have to do anything from this point, except perhaps not die. For the most part, you merely have to sit there and have three potential dates fight to the death for your hand. You certainly don’t have to put any thought into your decision, since you will just pick a contestant at random. You might pick the one with the nicest accent, but that’s about it. As I said, all you have to go on when choosing is a series of bad puns that the writing team have ordered the contestants to say.

The same applies if you are one of the three pickees. The only thing you have to do is remember your lines. However, this can be harder than it looks. Thanks to nerves, a line can start out as an innocent “If I were a tree…” and accidentally morph into “I like to drink my own wee.” But assuming you don’t make too fatal an error, your pre-scripted line about ‘being an apple tree because I like to get fruity’ might just win the picker’s heart.

After the three contestants have fumbled over their lines, and the picker has finished pretending to listen to whatever it was they said, it’s time for the most important part of the show – ‘Our Graham’ giving everyone a quick reminder.

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It is essential that the picker listens to ‘Our Graham’, because he will repeat the scripted lines that the contestants just said, before reminding the picker that it’s up to them who they choose. Unless there’s a really wacky one on, in which case the producers might  bully the picker into choosing them, and hilarity ensues. If all three potential dates are pretty much the same, the picker might as well pull a name out of a hat.

Once the picker has made their choice, the audience erupts with spontaneous glee, especially if they’ve picked the weirdo.

If you are the picker, now is the time to wonder if you’ve made the right choice as you wait to meet the person you’ll be forced to go abseiling with. Before that, you have to meet the two you turned down. Cilla will introduce them, before pouring scorn on you for your poor decision-making abilities.

Your two rejected suitors leave behind them a trail of heartbreak and regret. Why didn’t you pick number two? He was a dish! Oh well. You forget them soon enough, because now it’s time to meet your date! Here are some points to remember for that tense few seconds before the screen goes back.

  • Make sure your flies are done up and/or that your nipples haven’t escaped from your top. Having said that, the nipple thing might make your date like you more.
  • Make sure you don’t stink. Actually, you really should have done this beforehand, as there is no way to have a shower in the three seconds before the screen goes back. Just sniff your armpits to make sure, and hope for the best.
  • Try not to soil yourself with fear. If you do soil yourself, blame the smell on Our Graham

This is it! Drum roll, the screen goes back, and… you’re flooded with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. Why did you pick the one with a face tattoo of Timmy Mallet? Oh well, it’s done now, you might as well make the best of it.

When you first meet your date, there are a few dos and don’ts to remember –

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  • DO act pleased to see them, even if the effort of doing so causes you to get heartburn.
  • DO laugh like seeing them is the most hilarious thing in the world.
  • DO give them a hug.
  • DON’T start crying and screaming in horror
  • DON’T shout ‘Man the harpoons!”
  • DON’T give them a wedgie or ping their bra straps by way of greeting.

Once the awkwardness is out of the way, it’s time to pick your envelope. I have a theory about this. If the producers like you, all three envelopes will contain an all inclusive fortnight in the Maldives. If they don’t like you, all three envelopes will contain a day trip to Cleethorpes.

Let’s go for the middle ground and assume that the producers sort of tolerate you. This means you’ve won an activity weekend in Derbyshire! Pack your safety helmet and your hi-vis jacket, and don’t forget your book of romantic pick up lines.

During the weekend itself, you and your date will be made to do fun and wacky bonding activities, which might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Going to a zoo and meeting the animals. A photo opportunity will be arranged during which one of the animals will poo on you, causing great merriment for the studio audience.
  • Windsurfing/water skiing/kayaking.  A photo opportunity will be arranged during which one of you will fall in the water in a hilarious manner
  • A pottery lesson.  A photo opportunity will be arranged during which your pots go wrong.
  • Rock climbing.  A photo opportunity will be arranged during which you or your date will fall hilariously to your death.

At no point during your date will you be allowed to do normal date things, such as having a drink in a pub, having a conversation and getting to know each other, or getting it on behind the kebab shop. This is because these activities are not hilarious enough.

Assuming you both make it through the weekend without falling out with each other or getting injured in a hilarious manner, you and your partner will be invited back onto the show to undergo questioning by Cilla. By this point, it is likely that the pair of you will despise each other. If you don’t, you will by the time you’ve viewed each other’s post date interviews. When watching your date’s interview, keep in mind that your face will be visible in a little square in the corner of the screen, so be sure to keep your expression outraged and/or hilarious.

When the hate-filled VTs are finished, Cilla will pour mock sympathy down on your heads, while laughing, because it’s Saturday night on ITV and that’s what you do. Then you will both be given a round of applause and thrown out of the studio, having served your purpose.

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I might have been lying a bit when I implied that you can definitely find love on Blind Date. At best, there appears to be a slim chance that you can tolerate your date enough to not stab their eyes out with a fork. A much better strategy is to wait until you’re about 80, then go on one of the ‘old dears’ specials they have every so often. All you need to cop off on that is some hair and teeth (yours or someone else’s), and the ability to make the studio audience think you still remember how to do sex.