Dawn to bring animal magic to hit TV show Blind Date

Dawn Woolard from Ipswich, who is due to appear in an episode of Blind Date, with pet guinea pig Luc

Dawn Woolard from Ipswich, who is due to appear in an episode of Blind Date, with pet guinea pig Lucky Picture: ROBBIE BROWN - Credit: Robbie Brown

A contestant from Ipswich is set to bring some animal magic to TV’s Blind Date - by appearing together with her family’s pet guinea pig!

Dawn Woolard, 44, from the Wherstead Road area, only applied for the show on the spur of the moment, but thoroughly enjoyed filming the episode, presented by Paul O’Grady.

She will be appearing in a special episode where all those taking part took their pets along, so she borrowed her nine-year-old daughter Poppy’s guinea pig, Lucky, for the day.

Dawn is not allowed to say whether she was picked, so you’ll have to tune into the show, which is expected to be broadcast on August 18, to find out.

The mum remembers seeing the classic series when it was presented by Cilla Black, and is also a fan of the latest Channel 5 version.

“I was looking forward to meeting Paul O’Grady, because I think he’s great,” she said. “He loved the animals - he was rolling around on the floor with a dog, and he also took and held my guinea pig.”

Dawn, who has worked for the last 23 years as a civil servant for HM Revenue & Customs, had originally hoped to appear in a TV weight loss show rather than a dating one.

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“I am a size 16 girl, and thought I could go with losing a bit of weight, so I looked up the TV programme How to Lose Weight Well online,” she said.

“It had closed for contestants, but underneath there was an advert saying, ‘Are you single and unlucky in love?’ I clicked on it and found out it was Blind Date, so I thought why not? I thought I would probably never hear anything - but almost immediately they got back to me!”

She had to do a telephone interview and a Skype audition before being invited to go to the studios for filming.

Dawn was surprised to be asked if she had any pets she could take. Her household actually has a dog, three cats and two guinea pigs, but the show’s team chose a guinea pig to accompany her.

She said: “I thought, just my luck, I get to go on TV and I’ll look like a mad person who doesn’t like to go anywhere without her guinea pig!”

However, Lucky was very good on the train and enjoyed the occasion. The show’s team made a big fuss of him, and he had the run of her dressing room.

Dawn loved the whole experience so much, she is hoping to appear on TV again in the future, and has applied to appear in another TV series, this time being filmed in Australia!

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