My Mum, Your Dad star Roger Hawes has admitted he wasn’t ready to date when he joined the show 18 months after his wife’s death.
The 58-year-old appears in the new ITV dating show, dubbed “middle-aged” Love Island, which follows eight single parents as they enter a West Sussex country house in the hopes of finding their second chance at love.
However, it’s not the parents who make their dating decisions but rather their adult children who set them up from a secret room in the secluded country compound.
The debut episode, which aired on Monday (September 11), left viewers in tears as Roger spoke about the grief following his wife Joanne’s death from melanoma aged 52 and going on his first date in almost 40 years.
The postman was put forward by his daughter Jess, 28, and the pair both appeared on Tuesday’s instalment of Lorraine to discuss the series, which was filmed several months ago.
Asked by presenter Lorraine Kelly how he knew he was ready, when he joined the show, to begin dating again, he admitted: “I sort of knew I wasn’t but I’ve loved it and I think I get slightly better as it goes on.
“It was difficult but it wasn’t something I could pass up.”
His daughter Jess, who was secretly working behind the scenes to help set him up, said it was “scary” watching her dad trying dating again.
However as a self-confessed “control freak,” she admitted she enjoyed being able to play God with the relationships unfolding within the country house.
Roger said he felt “very lucky” that his first date on the show was with Caroline, who “nursed me through it as I was very nervous”.
He left her in floods of tears as he explained how his wife had survived breast cancer four years prior, but then discovered a spot behind her ear while they were on holiday in Italy which turned out to be melanoma.
Roger heartbreakingly shared how one night Joanne was incredibly tired and fell asleep on the sofa, but never woke up again after the melanoma had spread to her brain.
Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV while My Mum, Your Dad returns tonight at 9pm on ITV