30/04/2017 10:13 BST

'Take Me Out' Poignant Episode With Charlie Watkins Moves Viewers To Express Sympathy, Support For Contestant's Family

'The best first date ever.'

‘Take Me Out’ viewers have responded with messages of support and sympathy after watching a date with Charlie Watkins, the show’s contestant who has died since filming. 

The episode on Saturday evening showed Charlie travelling to the programme’s romance spot, the Isle of Fernando, with contestant Jo-Tara who he had won a date with in the previous episode.

The 22-year-old visited a beach and a water park and said: “I couldn’t think of an awesomer first date.”

Charlie told the show he'd never had "an awesomer first date"

He also described the trip as “definitely the best first date I’ve ever had”, while Jo-Tara admitted to the cameras that she fancied him.

Before the episode aired, the show’s host Paddy McGuinness wrote: “Hope you love tonight’s @takemeoutuk especially Charlie’s friends & family. We get to see a smashing lad enjoying himself on his date.”



The scenes were particularly sad, as the show’s host Paddy McGuinness had previously announced that Charlie had taken his own life since his segment was recorded. 

Charlie’s family this week expressed their approval for ITV to show the scenes, as well as 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. 

Charlie and Jo-Tara were seen having lots of fun on their date

“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. 

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
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