Graham Skidmore: who was voice of Blind Date, when did ‘Our Graham’ die and Cilla Black nickname explained
Skidmore was given the affectionate nickname by Blind Date presenter Cilla Black
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Graham Skidmore, known affectionately to ITV viewers as “Our Graham” has died at age 90.
With a voice that entertained millions during the 1980s and 90s, he was best known for his work on Cilla Black’s Blind Date.
The father of three, who had five grandchildren, was a Saturday night fixture rounding up contestants’ answers on the famous ITV dating show from 1985 to 2002.
He was also the voiceover on Shooting Stars with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.
Skidmore died on December 27 2021, with news of his passing only just confirmed by family.
Here’s everything you need to know about Graham Skidmore.
Who was Graham Skidmore?
Skidmore was born in 1931, he was due to fight in the Korean War, only avoiding battle due to an ear infection.
He discovered a passion for singing and started doing voiceover work, which led him to his famous role on Blind Date.
According to his daughter Catherine Johnson, Skidmore also did extra work, appearing in the St Trinian’s move, a Style Council video with Paul Weller and Eyes Wide Shut which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
As well as voicing one of the UK’s most well-known dating shows, he also ran a laundrette and a corner shop.
Why did Cilla Black call him “Our Graham”?
Skidmore was given his famous nickname by Blind Date presenter Cilla Black.
During shows, she would often refer to him as “Our Graham” telling viewers: “well it’s over to Our Graham for a quick reminder.”
The affectionate nickname made viewers connect with the voiceover artist, even though they couldn’t see him.
Black was a singer, actress and TV presenter, whose career began in 1963, thanks to the help of her friends, The Beatles.
The popular entertainer passed away from a stroke in August 2015.
At her funeral, her good friend Sir Cliff Richard called her the “greatest TV presenter in the world.”
How did he die?
Skidmore died on December 27 2021, but news of his passing has only just been confirmed by family.
Speaking to The Sun, his 54-year-old son Neil, confirmed that the voiceover artist had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and spent the final years of his life living in Kent.
What has his family said?
Tributes for the former voiceover artists have poured in from his family.
In an interview with The Sun, his son explained that his father had a “a known voice.”
He said: "He might not have wanted to be seen on screen, but he had a celebrity voice - a known voice.
"He loved it. I do event organising and had a show in London and got dad to do the voice over. People recognised him straight away."
His son recalled fond memories of doing TV adverts with their father.
Skidmore said: “As children we did TV adverts with him. We would go off and be a family for P and O travel and the Abbey National.”
His daughter described him as a “marvellous man” who “looked after people and made sure other people were taken care of.”
She added: "He was very modest. He was not a theatrical ‘look at me person.’ He never really wanted his face to be seen, that’s why he liked doing the voiceovers."