Blind Date with Cilla Black: thoughts behind a contestant’s smile

Cilla’s intro, three sets of questions, the audience roaring with laughter, then the big moment. Once the screen went back and the blind date revealed, it was usually smiles all round, but imagine if you were able to scrape away the top layer smile to reveal the underlying truthful facial expression – would the smile be replaced with a frown? There could have well been some hidden thoughts behind the smile

Thought #1: Jackpot! I’ve picked right – what a stunner! I’ll book an appointment with the branch manager at Abbey National to arrange a joint mortgage.

Thought #2: Absolutely gorgeous! For our date, we’re staying in a luxury hotel in Paris. Not planning on seeing much of the city but hoping room service is available.

Thought #3: Not good but not bad – I’ll just roll with it and see how things go.

Thought #4: Ohh no – I wished I’d picked number one or three! Thank goodness for the unlimited supply of alcohol during our away date to drown my sorrows – cheers Cilla!

Thought #5: I never should have applied to come on the show!

Now, I’m not sure of the exact success rate of dates that lead to a relationship was, but from my recollection, it was as low as a married man on a kerb crawling cruise – very low indeed. Does this indicate that 1) initial smiles were fake, or 2) they were real, but they changed to sadness and disappointment after the dates? These two points are the most level-headed explanation that probably results in a 50/50 split.

The other point to consider is that the show’s primary purpose was to churn out the laugh-out-loud factor. It was pretty obvious that the contestants had already prepared questions and answers, ones that would guarantee a giggle, roar of laughter, or an extended ooo from the audience. The Blind Date methodology worked so well that Cilla stuck with it for 374 episodes! So, the role of the contestant was to entertain first, but, if they did get a date that went swimmingly well, consider it a bonus comparable to a waiter/waitress receiving a small scattering of coins as a tip.

The Milk Tray Man, mouthfuls of Angel Delight, smashing Smash Hits magazine, splashing it all over with Brut aftershave, World of Sport or Grandstand? A fat wallet or your flexible friend the Access Card? Could you survive a term at Grange Hill? Nostalgia with enough clout to send you flying back to the 80s and 70s in the hardback book Section N Underpass. Click image below to get the rundown:

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