Blind Date’s ‘Our Graham’ dies aged 90

Graham Skidmore was the announcer on Cilla Black’s dating show for 17 years

Graham Skidmore, the veteran Blind Date announcer, has died at the age of 90.

Skidmore was referred to as “Our Graham” by Cilla Black, the host of the long-running dating show, which was originally broadcast between 1985 and 2003.

Skidmore died in December, PA news reports, with his death only now coming to light after it was included as an in memoriam in the latest magazine of the actor’s union Equity.

While often heard and seldom seen, his daughter Catherine Johnson, 52, told the Sun he was a “marvellous man” who made sure others were taken care of.

“He was very modest. He was not a theatrical ‘look at me’ person. He never really wanted his face to be seen; that’s why he liked doing the voiceovers,” Johnson said.

Born in 1931, Skidmore had dreams of being a doctor but missed his final exams because of an ear infection, which also prevented him from fighting in the Korean war. Skidmore began theatre and voiceover work, and had a corner shop, launderette and developed properties.

As well as doing voiceovers for BBC Two’s Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s Shooting Stars, Johnson said her father appeared in a St Trinian’s movie and was seen in the background of the film Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

“He was a fantastic father and husband to us and the family. He had an amazing celebrity voice,” his son Neil, 54, told the PA news agency.

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“[It] was getting towards the end of his career that he had Blind Date, so he was loving it. He’d been doing [voice work] his whole career as, I think he started off with modelling, theatre, he did some musical work, and then he did tons of … a working kind of background artist and all this kind of stuff.

“It was fantastic to get that and he loved it and did it for years. And then, from that, he got Shooting Stars as well, which was good fun.”

Skidmore had vascular dementia for the last decade of his life and spent his final years living in Kent, the BBC reports. He is survived by three children and five grandchildren.

An ITV spokesperson said: “As the voice behind Blind Date for almost two decades, Graham was at the very heart of the show, and alongside Cilla Black, a huge part of the show’s enduring success amongst audiences. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and his friends.”


Geneva Abdul

The GuardianTramp

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