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Bradley Walsh “thrilled” to follow in footsteps of hero Les Dawson as Blankety Blank host

The game show specialist is excited to return to the show where he once worked as a warm-up man.

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Bradley Walsh has a deep connection to the classic game show Blankety Blank – he has been the studio warm-up comic, he’s appeared on the panel as a celebrity guest and now he’s making his debut as the host.

He especially likes the new role because one of his heroes presented it in the 1980s.

“I’m not feeling the pressure so much,” said Bradley, “[It’s] just the fact that I love bit of nostalgic telly and to follow in the footsteps of Sir Terry Wogan and one of my heroes Les Dawson, having worked on the show as a studio warm-up for Les a few times, it’s a thrill for me.”

Walsh won’t be trying to reinvent the role or the show itself. There’s a strong sense that, to him, Blankety Blank is an iconic entertainment show that shouldn’t be tampered with.

“I think the show runs itself,” he said. “I think alongside the celebrity panel and the contestants, I don’t think you bring your own style, I like to work organically so I’m hoping people like Jimmy Carr and Sue Perkins will bring their style to it as well and we can bounce off each other.

“I’m really looking forward to working with them all again, I’ve worked with them all before but I’m really looking forward to working with the contestants, that’s what I like. I like working with the contestants – it’s great.”

Walsh appeared as a guest on an episode in 1998, when Blankety Blank was hosted by Lily Savage.

“Lily Savage hosted the show fantastically well and little did I know having sat next to Liz Dawn (Vera Dickworth) that six years later I’ll be working with her on Coronation Street. What goes around, comes around.”

Walsh had a particularly relaxed approach to the role of host and hadn’t done any preparation from home.

“I like to work spontaneously so I get the rules in my head and literally watch a couple of old re-runs just to refresh myself and that’s how I work.”

Besides presiding over the return of Blankety Blank, Walsh was also contemplating a different Christmas at home.

“Well, normally we have a big Christmas,” he said. “Our Christmas is big. And we normally spend it out, we go out with three other families, so there’s about 30 of us that go out and have Christmas in our local golf club, it’s wonderful. And this year it’s not going to happen because they’ve shut golf clubs down and there’s social distancing so now it’ll be a small intimate Christmas just at home with me and my immediate family that live at home.”

The Blankety Blank Christmas special will air on Christmas Day at 7pm on BBC One. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide
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