Vicky Pattison will not appear on Channel 5’s reboot of Blind Date after producers recruited loaded legend Mel Sykes instead.
The Geordie Shore star had been the front-runner to lend her voice to the series, a role previously held by Graham Skidmore.
For years, the late Cilla Black enjoyed a memorable rapport with Skidmore, who was affectionately known as “Our Graham” by the presenter on the show.
Pattison had been the front-runner to work on the show alongside new presenter Paul O’Grady but an insider revealed to The Sun that Sykes has been recruited following a change of approach in the direction of the show.
“While Vicky was never going to take on Cilla’s presenting role, she was the frontrunner to star in some way.
“However, the show has changed direction from its original plans. It was first aimed at a young audience for a Friday night slot, but after signing Paul it switched to Sunday night and is now being aimed at an older audience.
“Vicky’s audience is still quite young and it no longer felt like the right fit.”
Pattison, who previously won I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, has yet to comment on the move, instead taking to Instagram to showcase her new-look hairstyle.
In the meantime, Sykes has expressed her excitement at starting the new role.
“It’s an honour to be joining such an iconic show and to be working alongside my dear friend Paul. I can’t wait to help a new generation find love on the show,” she said.
Blind Date originally ran on ITV from 1985 to 2003 and will now look to compete with fellow dating favourite Take Me Out.