First Dates welcomed its oldest ever diner - and viewers fell in love with him

·Contributor
Richard won everyone’s hearts and approval – including his date. (Channel 4)
Richard won everyone’s hearts and approval – including his date. (Channel 4)

First Dates saw its oldest ever diner on the show this week and suffice to say viewers loved it.

Only last week did audiences witness one of the most awkward encounters in the programme’s history, when a divorced couple turned up for their respective dates and sat just a table apart.

As far as fan favourites go, viewers of the popular Channel 4 dating show tend to love an underdog or like to pick out a seeker of love they can relate to – so step forward Richard.

Besides being a sweet, elderly gentleman on the show to find that special someone , he was also the oldest to ever appear, at the age of 97.

It goes without saying that, for anyone who watched the episode, Richard was just the sweetest man with an interesting and heartbreakong life story.

Richard won everyone’s hearts and approval – including his date. (Channel 4)
Richard won everyone’s hearts and approval – including his date. (Channel 4)

During his dinner date with Ruth, he revealed he was drafted into the army during World War II.

‘I was 27 when I came out [of the army] and of course I lost most of my youth. I still think I’m a young man. My body isn’t but my brain is.

‘We were holding this bridge, the Arnhem Bridge in Holland. There was Italians and Germans, SS men with tanks, so we were on our own against all these Germans. We never had a chance.

He recalled the horrors of war by saying: ‘I was quite knackered but all them boys that got killed and marooned, and back in England all the lovely people that got bombed, it was horrible,’ before revealing he was once a promising Tottenham Hotspur player.

Richard won everyone over during his appearance. (Channel 4)
Richard won everyone over during his appearance. (Channel 4)

‘I used to have nightmares here and there, thinking about all the horrible things that happened,’ he confessed of his time fighting in the war.

And after hearing his story, Ruth was quite clearly affected by his tale, saying: ‘If I had a hat I would take my hat off to you because I think you’re amazing.’

Naturally, viewers wanted to adopt him as their new granddad, sharing their admiration for the OAP on Twitter.

And the best news of all? He and Ruth both enjoyed each other’s company so much that a second date is on the cards.

Catch First Dates each Wednesday, at 10pm, on Channel 4.

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