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Striding in Cilla’s place at the helm of this pheromonal Armageddon is Paddy Mc Guinness, a catchphrase-spouting, pathologically winsome creature who was surely created in a special lad-boratory somewhere on the outskirts of Wigan by splicing together the DNA of a Butlins redcoat and the entire canon of Nuts Magazine.
He's basically a living, breathing Club 18-30 holiday.
This introductory dance marks the first point at which the assembled ladies can thump the buzzer on their podium to turn off their light and remove themselves from the ensuing sexual negotiations.
The buzzer makes a horrible, heart-breaking sound, which evokes a dying robot, a comically wilting erection in a Carry On film, or Piers Morgan climaxing.
That memory, that association, is never complete without Cilla Black – the nation's favourite surrogate aunty, always resplendent in a series of shoulder-padded blazers, smiling down on my childhood like a ghostly Yoda at the end of Return of the Jedi.
As my mother's hair-dryer voomed into life in the kitchen, I was to be found in the living room watching Cilla on Blind Date, contorting myself on the couch (emphatically not a euphemism), often upside down, a combination of ever-stretching limbs and rising hormones making it impossible for me to sit properly and at peace for any significant length of time.
For example: ‘Let the foxes, see the hound’, ‘Let the honeys, see the bee’, ‘Let the reproductive organ, see its corresponding reproductive organ’ and ‘Let the host, see the pay-packet.’ I’ll never forget the time when Paddy Mc Guiness opened the show with ‘Let he who is without sin, see the first stone’ and then proceeded to ritually murder all of the contestants.If he's chooser or chosen, then he wins, and gets to go on holiday to the Isle of Fernando (the real location was too embarrassed to use its real name) with a woman who will ultimately grow to loathe him in less time than it takes Jack Bauer to save the president from a terrorist attack.