The family of Take Me Out contestant Charlie Watkins has released a statement following his tragic death. They said that their beloved Charlie, 22, had battled mental health issues from a young age. "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," the statement read. "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 appeared on Take Me Out, the ITV dating gameshow that saw him win a date with fellow contestant Jo-Tara to Tenerife. The young lad won over both viewers and the ladies on the show, and Saturday night's episode was dedicated to Charlie. Presenter Paddy McGuinness tweeted: "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 & family. RIP."
Charlie, pictured with his brother Harry, sadly passed away aged 22
Charlie, who jokingly called himself the "Chaz Man", studied criminology at York University. Friends and family members have been paying tribute to him following his shock death last month. His brother Harry shared a photo of the pair on Facebook in mid-March, writing: "Words cannot express my feelings, but I feel this picture sums us up perfectly xx."
Charlie's funeral was held at St Mary's Church on Friday 24 March in Colchester, Essex. A memorial page has also been set up in honour of Charlie, to raise money for mental health charity Mind. "This site is a tribute to Charlie," the description on the website read. "He is much loved and will always be remembered." The page has so far raised more than £10,000 for Mind's mid and north Essex branch.