The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SEANNA CRONIN

If you’re af­ter a dat­ing show with­out the drama, then you’ve got a date with Ju­lia Mor­ris on Mon­day nights. The co­me­dian and TV pre­sen­ter hosts the new ver­sion of Blind Date, tak­ing aim as cupid for sin­gles look­ing for Mr or Ms Right.

Keep­ing true to the orig­i­nal con­cept, which first de­buted in Aus­tralia in the 1960s and went through sev­eral rein­car­na­tions in the ’70s and ’90s, the sin­gles will need to use sharp con­ver­sa­tion and witty ban­ter to de­ter­mine which per­son is very right, or hor­ri­bly wrong, for them.

“It was great to get back into a stu­dio again and host a show,” Mor­ris says.

“While I want ev­ery sin­gle show in my life­time to be with my beloved doc­tor (Chris Brown, my I’m A Celebrity co­host) it was also good fun to do it on my own.

“It was a su­per fun, funny, sweet, warm ad­ven­ture.

“It felt like sim­ple TV, not all con­vo­luted and not all that strange edit­ing. These are ab­so­lutely nor­mal Aussies who are not used to be­ing on tele­vi­sion. I try to bring a warmth and nur­tur­ing to that, while at the same time bring­ing hu­mour. Gen­uine hearts are get­ting a go, which is re­ally re­fresh­ing.”

In the modern world of swip­ing left and right, the show gets back to the ba­sics of dat­ing but with a 21st cen­tury twist.

Mor­ris plays match­maker for sin­gles of all shapes, sizes, ages and sex­ual pref­er­ences, in­clud­ing a few fa­mous faces like Casey Dono­van.

“Peo­ple in their 20s aren’t the only ones in Aus­tralia who are sin­gle,” she says.

“It was an ab­so­lute breath of fresh air that we had such a breadth of dif­fer­ent Aus­tralians. They range from 18 to 80 and they’re from all dif­fer­ent walks of life.

“Some­times I think con­tes­tants for (other) shows at the mo­ment are peo­ple who seem like they’ve had me­dia train­ing. They’re all su­per savvy and they know what to say. These are not peo­ple look­ing to launch a web­site or a busi­ness. It gen­uinely felt like they were look­ing for love.”

So what hap­pens if it isn’t love at first sight and the big re­veal is a bit awk­ward?

“If some­one had a re­ac­tion on their face as if to say ‘ew’ or ‘oh God what have I done?’ then in­stantly my in­stincts turn to mak­ing it com­fort­able for the other per­son,” Mor­ris says.

“I didn’t want any­one to feel like they were get­ting prop­erly re­jected on my show.”

At the end of each episode, Mor­ris catches up with the cou­ples to see how their first date went and if they’d like to see more of each other.

“There are some matches, which is ter­ri­bly ex­cit­ing. I would hope I get an in­vi­ta­tion if there are any wed­dings,” she says.

“Then there were some where it looked like this could ac­tu­ally be it, and they came down to the stu­dio not long af­ter and it would feel like a dif­fer­ent story.

“There were lots of twists and turns, which kept it su­per fun for me. Just when I knew what I would get out of them, an en­tirely dif­fer­ent thing would come out.

“There were some ab­so­lute clangers and they were sur­pris­ingly hon­est too.”

Bind Date airs Mon­days at 7.30pm on Ten


Co­me­dian and TV pre­sen­ter Ju­lia Mor­ris hosts the new ver­sion of Blind Date, which keeps true to the orig­i­nal con­cept.

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