Essex

Blind Date host Paul O'Grady in Southend outburst

Paul O'Grady and Cilla Black Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul O'Grady was a close friend of the original Blind Date presenter, the late Cilla Black

TV presenter Paul O'Grady has been invited on a tour of Southend-on-Sea after reportedly lambasting it during filming of the programme Blind Date.

The comedian used insulting language on the Channel 5 dating show, suggesting the Essex resort is filled with "single mothers", The Sun reported.

Southend Council and Visit Southend responded on Twitter, suggesting O'Grady "hasn't visited for a while".

"Who would help us give him a tour of the best of Southend?" they tweeted.

Warning: This report uses language some readers may find offensive

In response, the Gleneagles Guesthouse tweeted an offer of a free night in its "premier suite with unrivalled views of the estuary".

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Southend Borough Council responded by posting photographs of the town on Twitter - and inviting O'Grady for a tour

O'Grady was reported to have called Southend a "shit hole" on discovering a couple had won a date in the town.

In March Channel 5 announced his selection as the host of the updated programme.

He was a close friend of the late Cilla Black, who presented the show on ITV during its run from 1985 and 2003.

The BBC contacted O'Grady's manager who said Channel 5 would release a statement later.

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