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Colman Hutchinson, producer of Blind Date: 'There is so much misreported about us telling our daters what to say on the show. About an hour before the show, we give the 'pickees' the questions and half an hour later we ask them to tell us their answers. By and large the response is theirs, though we might point them in the right direction or say it's too long. There are times when we do say, 'You can't say that', but we never give them a prepared answer and I'm adamant about that.

'In general, we don't like them singing and there's very little performing now. I try and shy away from performers who think it might get someone offering a recording contract.

'Backstage the whole thing is like a military operation - people running round with walkie- talkies so the pickers and pickees don't see each other.

'Afterwards there is a half- hour party, then the unpicked people go back to their hotels and the couples go out to dinner with a researcher to hear about their date. A lot of people like to imagine that wild things are going on backstage, but that certainly doesn't happen.'

(Photograph omitted)