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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Blind Date denies 'Idol revamp'
Cilla Black
Popular host: Cilla and a contestant
Long-running ITV dating show Blind Date is to get a revamp for its new series - but producers have denied it is going get get a Pop Idol-style makeover.

A newspaper report claims London Weekend Television has "pinched" ideas from the talent show as part of a 1m relaunch.

But a LWT spokeswoman told BBC News Online its changes would be minor, and would cost "a lot less" than 1m, she said.

Pop Idol's Rosemary
Pop Idol and Blind Date are both international hits

A sister show taking a behind-the-scenes look at the couples' dates was being considered, she added.

"We are in talks with ITV2 about doing a spin-off programme," she said.

But she added: "We categorically are not looking to take any ideas from Pop Idol for the new series of Blind Date."

Aspects of the long-running dating show, broadcast on ITV1, were updated every few years, she added.

In 1996, for example, changes were made to the set and titles.

The show, presented by Cilla Black, first went out on ITV 18 years ago.

It quickly became the cornerstone of the network's Saturday evening schedule.

Blind Date regularly attracts audiences of more than six million - though in its heyday, in the 1980s, it was watched by up to 14 million viewers.

See also:

28 Oct 01 | Newsmakers
The Power of Cilla
12 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Blind Date makes strong return
02 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Cilla back at Blind Date
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