Paul O'Grady is the new host of the Blind Date reboot!

Soaps

Paul O'Grady is the new host of the Blind Date reboot!

This is the best news we've had ALL YEAR

After it was announced that Channel 5 were reviving everyone's favourite Saturday night dating show, Blind Date, rumours have been swirling over who will front it instead of Cilla Black.

Of course, no-one could take over from our Cilla, who sadly died in 2015, and who fronted the ITV show throughout its time on our screens from 1985 to 2003.

And when a source told The Sun that the classic would be "rebooted to make it young, sexy and modern," many were expecting a younger presenter to step into Cilla's kitten heels.

Cilla speaking to a couple who had just come back from their trip away (Credit: ITV)

Those touted to take over the role were Vicky Pattison, Olly Murs, Helen Flanagan and Georgia May Foote.

And whilst Vicky sadly isn't hosting the Channel 5 reboot, she is still rumoured to have some part of it.

Ok – we've kept you guessing long enough now!

Paul O'Grady has been announced as the new face of the Channel 5 Blind Date reboot (Credit: Getty Images)

Who is the new host of the Blind Date reboot?

The new presenter of Blind Date is... Paul O'Grady!

YAY! Don't you think he'll be a perfect fit?

In a statement on the Channel 5 website, Paul confirmed the happy news: "Blind Date is an incredibly special family show which brought laughter, tears and joy to TV viewers throughout out the land."

Paul, who was a very close friend of Cilla's and referred to her as his "sister", continued: "I am honoured to present the brand new series and after speaking to Channel 5, I know the series is in safe hands. I can't wait to see if we can find love."

N'aww, what a lovely guy.

Cil and Paul were best pals (Credit: Getty Images)

And speaking to The Sun, a source revealed more details about Vicky's possible role on the show: "Vicky is so excited to be working on such an iconic show as Blind Date. She knows Paul is perfect to step into Cilla's shoes.

"To be considered to work alongside such a legend is a dream come true for her."

But that's not all that's changed about the show – LGBT contestants will take part in the show for the first time!

The statement announced that LGBT contestant would be "welcomed for the first time" which would "breathe new life into the series".

We're chuffed that Channel 5 are breaking down stigmas and creating an all-inclusive show.

Paul regarded Cilla as a "sister" (Credit: Getty Images)

After Cilla passed away in 2015, Paul told the Liverpool Echo: "She was a very loyal friend Cilla. She was more like a sister.

"I've lost my good mate. It's very sad. It just doesn't seem real. We used to get invited to dinner parties as the entertainment, of course we didn't mind.

"We were just being ourselves but people said we were like a double act. We had the same roots you see, that's how we connected. We were both from similar working class backgrounds."

RIP Cilla. 💔

The Blind Date revival will feature LGBT contestants for the first time (Credit: Getty Images)

Everything you need to know about the Blind Date 2017 revival

Yep, you've read that right - Blind Date is returning to our lives!

Blind Date was the pinnacle of our Saturday nights between 1985 and 2003. Hosted by everyone's favourite Scouse, it wouldn't have seen the same success without Cilla Black.

Rumours were rife over who would step into Cilla's kitten heels for the Channel 5 revival of the show. The names being thrown around were: Olly Murs, Vicky Pattison, Georgia May Foote and Helen Flanagan.

Blind Date brought in viewing figures of 18 million at its peak - which isn't a surprise!

A 19-year-old Amanda Holden appeared on Blind Date before she was famous.

The show saw a contestant come on and ask (slightly cringey) questions to three potential datees whilst being separated by a screen.

They matched based on their likes and dislikes and their personalities, and were then revealed to each other at the end of the show.

The couple would then go on a short holiday to get to know each other and would report back to the show the next week to see how they got on.

And a LOT of the time - they didn't.

It's sort-of been replaced on ITV's schedule by Take Me Out, hosted by Paddy McGuinness, which sees a group of 30 ladies stand behind buzzers as potential candidates of one man.

There's also Channel 4's First Dates, where couples are professionally matched behind the scenes and we are flies on the wall to their first date.

Blind Date paved the way for all of these shows, so we're VERY excited to see it return.

Cilla was loved across the country for her fun-loving personality on Blind Date (Credit: Channel 5)

FAQs about the Blind Date reboot

What channel will Blind Date be on?

The Blind Date reboot is going to be on Channel 5 when it returns - not ITV as it was before.

When will Blind Date be back on TV?

We don't know yet - Channel 5 have yet to confirm when the Blind Date revival will be back on our screens. Apparently it will be "on our screens before the end of the year." But never fear - we'll keep you up to date.

Will Blind Date have the same set-up?

Channel 5 haven't confirmed any specific details about the new show just yet, but they released a statement today which read: "The show has been updated for the 21st century, as a new generation of love-seeking characters compete against each other to hook up with their potential love match, hiding behind the legendary sliding panel.

"With no chance to swipe left, send a selfie or message back, the class of 2017 must break with modern day dating convention and rely on their basic instincts to find the chemistry.

"Whilst paying respect to the traditions and family appeal of the programme with the legendary sliding panel, three question format and live studio audience, Blind Date will be updated to reflect the present day, whilst maintaining the humour, charm and cheekiness of the original show."

A shot from the old show where Cilla is about to reveal a date to someone (Credit: ITV)

A Blind Date source also said to The Sun: "It's a classic format that will be rebooted to make it young, sexy and modern. Expect sparks to fly.

"In an age of Tinder, you have got to earn the right to love on this show. It will appeal to a new generation of viewers. Some of the traditions of the past will be kept the same, but it will also be updated for modern times."

We hope it doesn't change TOO much - why mess with a classic?!

Who will be replacing Cilla Black and hosting the new Blind Date?

It has today been revealed that Paul O'Grady is taking over the role as presenter of Blind Date from his close friend Cilla Black, who fronted the show from 1985 to 2003.

In a statement released on Channel 5's website today, it was confirmed that Paul would host the reboot, despite many thinking that Vicky Pattison would be stepping up to the plate.

There were many people in the running - as we said above, Vicky Pattison, Olly Murs, Helen Flanagan and Georgia May Foote were all rumoured to take the job.

The rumoured new hosts for the revival of Blind Date: Vicky Pattison, Olly Murs, Helen Flanagan and Georgia May Foote (Credit: Getty Images)

Speaking to our friends at heat a couple of months ago, Vicky said: "I'm as thrown by the rumours as everyone else. I've got 30 WhatsApps, all like, 'Congrats.' I can't bring myself to reply because what can I say? I've not got the job, it's embarrassing. But fingers crossed! And I love Cilla's son for saying I'd do a good job."

Former Queen of the Jungle Vicky Pattison was also in the running to front the reboot (Credit: Getty Images)

Another name being thrown around was Coronation Street's Catherine Tyldesley, who apparently had "secret" talks with the producers to take the job. A source at the studios spoke to the Daily Star: "Cath is very keen to be the host of Blind Date. Everyone knows she would be the perfect package."

But that wasn't all - Kylie Minogue was also in the running. According to The Sun's Dan Wootton, an insider said: "They know this is their chance to land an A-lister and Kylie has been discussed because she is so likeable."

Phillip Schofield has officially backed Rylan Clark-Neal to be the face of the new show, saying to The Sun: "I think it’s a great idea, it has always been a great format. Cilla was great and they are very big shoes to step into. But I think Rylan would be very good for it. He's a Channel 5 guy and he'd be brilliant."

Holly Willoughby has also ruled herself out of the running, saying to Digital Spy: "It's on Channel 5, isn't it? I'm ITV."

Are you going to be watching the revival of Blind Date? Who would you like to see present the show? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Like this? Now read these:

First Dates: Top 10 BEST love stories ever!

Oops! Nervous First Dates lothario wets himself during dinner

Take Me Out: 22 things you didn't know about the hit show

More in Entertainment

Closer magazine cover