ENTERTAINMENT

'Take Me Out': Charlie Watkins' Family Issue Statement After He Dies Following Appearance As Contestant

'We have lost a very special young man.'

24/04/2017 12:02 BST | Updated 24/04/2017 12:03 BST

The family of ‘Take Me Out’ contestant Charlie Watkins has issued a statement, after it was revealed he died following his appearance on the show. 

The 22-year-old University of York student was seen on Saturday’s (22 April) episode of the ITV dating show and viewers saw him jet off to the Isle of Fernando’s, after bagging a date with Jo Tara. 

ITV
Charlie Watkins with 'Take Me Out' host Paddy McGuinness

Ahead of the episode airing, host Paddy McGuinness told fans about the sad news of Charlie’s death, dedicating the show to him. 

His family has now opened up about their loss, revealing Charlie took his own life shortly after filming, telling of his struggle with mental health issues since losing his mother at the age of nine. 

“We have lost a very special young man who sadly never recovered from the tragic loss of his mother when he was only 9 years old,” they said (via MailOnline). 

“Tragically this is another example of the mental health issues suffered by young people today as highlighted by the Heads Together campaign supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.”

The family has also set up a donation page in Charlie’s memory to raise money for Mind Mid and North Essex, and have so far collected over £11,000. 

ITV
Charlie was paired with Jo Tara on Saturday's show

A spokesperson for ‘Take Me Out’ also offered their sympathy to the family, saying in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the tragic news regarding Charlie.

“Our thoughts and best wishes go to his family and friends. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time.”

Useful websites and helplines:
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk
  • RIP: Stars We've Lost In 2017