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Thursday, 11 July, 2002, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
'Blind Date' for single mothers
Cilla Black and guest
Blind Date is a cornerstone of ITV
Children are to pick dates for their single mothers in a new game show being planned for ITV1.

Mum's the Word will adapt the popular Blind Date formula, putting children in charge of which men are selected for their mothers and where they will go on the date.


It is not a romantic dinner for two or designed to find a husband for women

Carlton spokesman
The show, to be hosted by Lorraine Kelly, is expected to be broadcast in a daytime slot.

A spokesman told BBC News Online: "This will be a fun programme which will take single mums away from the drudgery of housework and cleaning for a day.

Pilot

But the programme has been roundly criticised for "exploiting" children.

Family campaigner Dr Adrian Rogers said: "This is very cheap television and it is direct exploitation.

Lorraine Kelly
Lorraine Kelly is a GMTV presenter
"There is a lot of evidence that introducing a male into a single parent family can be beneficial.

"But it must be done slowly and carefully. This programme is doing the very opposite of that and it is a particularly unpleasant example of exploitative TV."

The Carlton spokesman added: "It is not a romantic dinner for two or designed to find a husband for women. The couples may never see each other again."

Carlton is to make a pilot for the programme, which will not be transmitted, and will discuss with ITV the possibility of a series.

Blind Date, presented by Cilla Black, was first broadcast on ITV 18 years ago.

The LWT show has long been a cornerstone of the network's Saturday evening schedule, although audience figures are not as high as they once were.

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.

The format has been updated recently with Elimidate, a late night show presented by former singer Kerry Katona.

See also:

12 Nov 01 | Entertainment
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