In April it was reported that Take Me Out contestant, 22-year-old Charlie Watkins, had committed suicide shortly after filming the ITV dating show.
Now an inquest has heard that Charlie took his own life after losing his dream job for taking time off to film the show.
York Coroners’ Court heard that the Criminology graduate was working at ‘York Chocolate Story’ for a “few months” but was sacked when he went to Maidstone Studios in Kent for the four-day Take Me Out filming commitments.
Charlie’s twin brother, Harry, revealed that he missed calls from work as he couldn’t have his phone with him whilst filming and when he returned to York his job was terminated as he was still in his probationary period.
Charlie’s housemate, Swabir Abdul Rahmam, told the inquest: “He really loved his job at the chocolate factory – he was happy.
“But when he went to go film for the Take Me Out TV programme, he lost his job – they terminated his contract.
“He then had nothing to do apart from stay around the house and play on the XBOX and Playstation.”
Charlie’s family and friends also confirmed that Charlie had a history of self-harm and depression.
His psychiatrist, Vivienne Sabre, said that Charlie was “the life and soul of every party, but would suddenly retreat into the back of his mind moments later”.
Charlie filmed for Take Me Out last year, winning a date with Jo-Tara, and the episode was broadcast on April 23 in memory of Charlie, with the family’s permission.
Tweeting at the time, host Paddy McGuinness wrote: “Tonight’s Take Me Out is in memory of Charlie. A fantastic lad who I’m sure will be greatly missed by his wonderful friends and family. RIP.”
Charlie was found dead in his bedroom on March 13 after his flat mates broke down the door, housemate Rahmam added to the inquest: “I felt his body and it was cold.
“I knew Charlie was dead – panic then set in and I called for an ambulance.”
It had previously been revealed that Charlie struggled with depression after losing his mother at the age of nine, going on to lose his grandmother, grandfather and auntie within a five year period.
Ruling suicide, coroner Rob Turnbull concluded the inquest with: “Charlie was witty, charming and a considerate young man – that is what people thought of him.
“He was all but a popular young man and it was in a sad set of circumstances his life was to end the way it did.”
Charlie’s brother added: “I didn’t know he was still struggling with our mother’s death.
“I also noticed some laceration marks on his arm about a year ago when we went to the gym, but he just told me to mind my own business.
“We thought he had got better.”
Speaking in a statement, York’s Chocolate Story said: “Charlie Watkins was employed by York’s Chocolate Story from 17 October to the 25 November 2016.
“Although Charlie only worked for us for a short time (five weeks), he was a well-liked and sociable member of the team. Due to filming commitments with Take Me Out Charlie was unable to complete his probationary period.
“The team here were shocked and saddened by the news of Charlie’s passing and made a donation to Mind – Mid & North East Essex in Charlie’s memory.
“Our deepest condolences go out to all of his family and friends.”
Charlie’s family have now set up a foundation in his name to help others battling mental illness, to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlie-watkins-foundation