The Lily Savage star has taken over the reins on the classic dating dating show, which Cilla hosted between 1985 and 2003.
But he’s been raising eyebrows with some of his comments about the late star as he records the show for Channel 5 at the studios in London, according to The Sun.
“How the fuck did Cilla do this for 25 years?” he asked the audience.
“No wonder she was on cocaine. God bless her, wherever she is,” he joked.
“Her spirit is here you know, pisssed herself laughing at me and ruining my show — causing all the issues. What can I do now? Oh I think I’ll go and have a line of coke while I wait.”
Paul also joked that Cilla had left him the show in her will, following her death at her Spanish villa in 2015.
He said: “Why am I doing it? Oh yeah that’s right — Cilla left it for me in her will. No seriously, she made me do it.”
The Liverpudlian star added that Cilla had a wild side and the pair loved to party together.
“You all thought Cilla was all mumsy, but you’re out of your mind if you think that,” he said. “She bust my nose in a Jacuzzi in Barbados. What a mad woman she was.”
Earlier this week it was revealed that Melanie Sykes will be providing the voiceover on the rebooted show, taking over from Graham ‘Our Graham’ Skidmore, who appeared on the original series for more than a decade.
Channel 5 has insisted the new series will stay true to the original, while also throwing in some modern touches, including the involvement of LGBT+ contestants for the first time.
The late Cilla Black’s eldest son, Robert, recently gave the show his blessing, adding he felt his mum’s best friend Paul O’Grady was definitely the right man for the gig.