Take Me Out viewers were overcome with emotion last night as Charlie Watkins’ date with Jo-Tara on the Isle of Fernando aired.
Last week it was sadly announced that 22-year-old Charlie killed himself last month, with his family revealing that he’d never come to terms with the tragic death of his mother when he was just nine years old.
Once again, host Paddy McGuinness took to his Twitter page to pay tribute to the student, admitting that he hoped that seeing Charlie on his date would bring some kind of solace to his bereaved family.
He wrote: “Hope you love tonight’s @takemeoutuk especially Charlie’s friends & family. We get to see a smashing lad enjoying himself on his date.”
As a mark of respect, Paddy also refrained from tweeting along with the show like he usually does.
— Paddy McGuinness (@PaddyMcGuinness) April 29, 2017
Charlie and Jo-Tara enjoyed a trip to a waterpark on the date, with Charlie quipping that he “couldn’t think of an awesomer [sic] first date”.
He also described Jo-Tara as “the best first date” he’d ever had, with the pair agreeing to go on a second date once they got back home.
Taking to their social media pages, many Take Me Out fans tweeted how sad it was to see “fun-loving” Charlie on his date, writing:
Felt so so sad watching Charlie & Jo Tara's date tonight on #TakeMeOut knowing he's no longer with us. Absolutely heartbreaking.
— Claire (@Claires_Page) April 29, 2017
So sad for Charlie & his family. Often those who make others smile are struggling the most. Hope you found peace, Charlie x #TakeMeOut
— Olivia C (@Olivia_Research) April 29, 2017
Must be so hard for Charlie's family to watch this, very strong of them to allow the showing. RIP Charlie #TakeMeOut
— Verity ???????? (@LplVerity) April 29, 2017
Just goes to show the people who try &make others smile the most are the ones suffering inside, what a lovely bloke. RIP Charlie #TakeMeOut
— Ellie (@ellieox93) April 30, 2017
Earlier this week, Charlie’s family released a statement which read: “We have lost a very special young man who sadly never recovered from the tragic loss of his mother when he was only nine years old.
“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.”
Charlie won over Take Me Out viewers with his happy go-lucky personality and following his tragic death many of his friends at York University took to social media to pay tribute to him, affectionately referring to him by his nickname, ‘Chazman’.
His family also set up a fundraising page in his memory, with proceeds going to mental health charity ‘Mind’.
So far more than £10,000 has been raised for the Mid and North Essex branch of the charity.
A spokesperson for Take Me Out shared: “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.”