Cilla Black is returning to TV screens to front a new dating show for Sky One, it has been revealed.

The former Blind Date host will present Loveland, a ten-part dating "21st century" dating programme for the channel next year.

Unlike on Blind Date, which Black hosted for 18 years, contestants will not sit in front of a studio audience but will be 'hidden' behind real-time animations as they date each other.

Each episode concludes with the contestant picking their preferred animated character before meeting that person in real life.

Black, 65, said she had been "captivated" by the "modern-day twist on the dating format" of the show, which brought "something new and exciting to the genre".

"[The] unique animation may help couples find love and me the perfect hat," she added, referring to the collection of hats she amassed for the Blind Date weddings during her time on the ITV1 show.

Richard Woolfe, director of programming for Sky One, Two and Three, said Black was "the undisputed queen of the dating show".

"There's been many Pretenders to her throne, but she remains in a class of her own," he added.

"I'm thrilled she shares my passion for Loveland and for bringing the dating show kicking and screaming into the 21st Century."

06/08/2008 12:13:30