Claudia Winkleman and Paul O'Grady smiling at events

Claudia Winkleman tipped to take over from the late Paul O’Grady as Holly Willoughby’s husband eyes Blind Date reboot

Comes after The Traitors success...

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The Traitors and Strictly star Claudia Winkleman – who hosts The Piano tonight (Sunday, April 28) – has been thrown into the mix to take over from the late Paul O’Grady on a legendary dating show.

Almost 40 years after its first-ever episode, a reboot of Blind Date has been teased. Paul, who died in March last year, hosted the dating show from 2017 to 2019.

Blind Date’s first-ever episode aired in 1985 with the late Cilla Black hosting.

However, TV producer Dan Baldwin – husband of Holly Willoughby – has now teased Blind Date returning with Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia at the helm. However, Holly has also been added to the mix.

Claudia Winkleman smiling at event
Could Claudia host a potential Blind Date reboot? (Credit: Cover Images)

Blind Date reboot

Earlier this month, GMB’s entertainment correspondent Richard Arnold teased that Holly could present a reboot. He said on the show: “Could it be Strictly and Traitors star Claudia Winkleman? Nothing has been confirmed yet but creators behind Gladiators revival suggested that this could be the next plan.

“Claudia would be the natural fit. It’s being brought back by Holly Willoughby’s husband Dan. Ideally, he’d like to see it back after Gladiators got like nine million bums on seats on the weekends so it would be right to revive something like Blind Date.

“Maybe Holly would be a shoo-in as well. It’s very much in our DNA, isn’t it? So it would be great to have it back.”

Holly Willoughby smiling in purple dress
Could Holly host Blind Date? (Credit: Cover Images)

Claudia Winkleman tipped to host Blind Date reboot

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 at the beginning of the month, Dan said: “You always look at old shows that are no longer on television. You are always coming up with new ways of bringing back a show.

“There is nothing wrong with that because those shows were great for a reason.”

I’m thinking Blind Date with Claudia Winkleman on BBC1, how about it?

In addition, he went on: “As well as coming up with new ideas, we’ve always got one eye on what could come back and what could be a hit like Gladiators is.

“Another one that you’d like to see back, Blind Date, are we ready for that? What a Saturday night that was. I’m thinking Blind Date with Claudia Winkleman on BBC1, how about it?”

ED! has contacted reps for the BBC and Claudia for comment.

Paul O'Grady smiling at event
Paul hosted Blind Date from 2017 to 2019 (Credit: Cover Images)

Claudia on The Traitors

TV favourite Claudia has had a busy year already after hosting The Traitors on BBC One. As well as The Traitors, Claudia presents Strictly alongside Tess Daly.

However, during her stint hosting series two of The Traitors in January, bookies predicted that Claudia could end up leaving Strictly.

Bookmakers MegaDice exclusively told ED! that odds were at 3/1 for Claudia leave Strictly in 2024.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson said: “Claudia Winkleman has been a big hit hosting the new series of The Traitors and it could see a host of other presenting opportunities fall her way in the future. She is 3/1 to leave her long stint as a host on Strictly Come Dancing to pursue other projects.

“The 52-year-old is 4/1 to get her own BBC chat show, 5/1 to present the BAFTAs and 10/1 to move into US television.”

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Read more: Claudia Winkleman’s home life away from cameras with husband and children

The Piano airs tonight (Sunday, April 28) at 9pm on Channel 4.


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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)