Blind Date will feature LGBT contestants for the first time

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The return of Blind Date after a 13-year absence will see LGBT contestants included for the first time.

The hit show, which was presented by Cilla Black for 18 years before it was cancelled in 2003, historically featured one participant choosing a date from three people of the opposite gender.

But in its new incarnation this year on Channel 5, viewers will be able to see competitors from across the LGBT community.

A casting producer for the show told BuzzFeed that “Blind Date is for everyone.”

In response, a Stonewall spokesperson said the charity was “thrilled that, for the first time ever, the returning Blind Date will be inclusive of same-sex relationships.

“Since the show’s end in 2003, representation of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people has come a long way, and we hope to see Blind Date’s move inspire shows of a similar format to extend their remits to include LGBT people too.

“Not only will this send a strong message that LGBT people and their relationships are valid, but it can also enable viewers to learn more about LGBT people and their relationships.”

A communications officer for Channel 5 said he would not be able to comment on the development, as his channel had not yet officially announced it would be screening the show.

The new Blind Date is being created by So Television, the production company owned by Graham Norton – who is one of the celebrities rumoured to be set to host the show.

Cilla Black’s longtime friend Christopher Biggins said last month he was furious with the new series for profiting from his late friend’s success.