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ITV2 lines up Blind Date uncut

In the UK, following criticism that ITV1's version of the dating format Blind Date is over-rehearsed, the network's digital sister ITV2 is letting viewers backstage in a spin-off series called Blind Date: Kiss & Tell.

Top of the Pops presenter Sarah Cawood and Brendan Courtney host the reality-skewed show, which transmits later in the evening than ITV1's programme. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage, each show will reveal what the contestants got up to on their dates and their uncut reactions to the pre-recorded interviews from Blind Date about how their romantic rendez-vous went.

Blind Date: Kiss & Tell also has access to the green room for all the post-show gossip with the rejects for their first thoughts straight after they leave the Blind Date stage.

A Granada production, Blind Date: Kiss & Tell is produced by Rebecca Johnson, with Chris O’Dell as executive producer. It will air on Saturdays from October 12 at 22:00. The 19th series of the original Blind Date will also start on this date in a 18:00 slot.

The ITV1 show is also being tweaked to keep it fresh. The series will now include a 'date-or-ditch' feature, allowing the picking contestant to stick with the person they have chosen, or gamble on the single remaining unseen contestant.

Meanwhile, MTV Networks-owned cable channel The New TNN has picked up the cable rights to the US version of Blind Date from distributor Universal Television for January 2003.

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