A Take Me Out contestant who lost his job because he took four days off to film the TV show hanged himself a month later, an inquest heard. Charlie Watkins, 22, went on the dating show after saying he was disappointed he had been unlucky in love during his three years at the University of York.The criminology graduate lost his job at York Chocolate Story due to the filming commitments, the inquest heard.North Yorkshire Coroner Rob Turnbull concluded his death was suicide.Mr Watkins’ housemate Swabir Abdul Rahmam, 24, 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.”‘One regret’Mr Watkins’ family and friends told the inquest he had self-harmed previously and taken anti-depressant medication in the past. But Mr Rahmam said those days were behind him and at the time “he was cheerful and happy”.After graduating in June 2016, Mr Watkins, from Colchester in Essex, posted on social media: “My one regret is not finding that one woman for me to spend the rest of my life with.”He also posted a picture on his Facebook account of the show’s application form as he filled it in. He was then called up to join match-making host Paddy McGuinness to shoot scenes in February – and won a date.
Mr Watkins’ date was broadcast in April as the pair jetted off to the show’s fictional Isle of Fernando’s – and he said the date “went really well”. The inquest heard he had spent the day before his death drinking with his brother in Leeds before enjoying a charity dinner with friends in York. He was found dead the following evening on 13 March after his flatmates broke down his bedroom door.The show was broadcast on 23 April after ITV was granted the go-ahead from his family. ‘Witty, charming’McGuinness, 43, tweeted at the time: “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.”North Yorkshire Coroner Rob Turnbull said he was “unable to answer questions put in front of him” as Mr Watkins left no suicide note and his mother had died “some years ago”. Returning a conclusion of suicide, Mr Turnbull said: “Charlie was witty, charming and a considerate young man – that is what people thought of him. “He was a popular young man and it was in a sad set of circumstances his life was to end the way it did.”If you are affected by any of the topics in this article, the Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123 or through their website.
Source: BBC Essex