Charlie Watkins, the Take Me Out contestant who died earlier this year, took his own life after losing his job, an inquest has heard. Charlie passed away on 13 March, one month before his episode on the ITV show aired. York Coroner's Court heard this week that he had lost his position at a chocolate shop and factory after he took leave to film the dating show, the Sun reports. His twin brother told the inquest that Charlie was not allowed to have his phone with him during the four days of filming at Maidstone Studios, which meant he missed calls from his employer. Upon his return, he was told he had lost his job.
Take Me Out contestant Charlie Watkins took his own life in March
The inquest was also told that Charlie had never recovered from the death of his mother when he was nine years old, and that he had struggled for a long time with his mental health and depression. North Yorkshire coroner Rob Turnbull returned a verdict of suicide at Wednesday's hearing. He said: "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 Take Me Out appearance was aired on 23 April after the show sought permission from Charlie's family, and the episode was dedicated to his memory. Show host Paddy McGuinness posted a tribute to Charlie on his Twitter page, which read: "Hope you love tonight's @takemeout especially Charlie's friends & family. We get to see a smashing lad enjoying himself on his date."
Paddy McGuinness paid tribute to Charlie ahead of his episode airing
Following Charlie's death, his family released a statement. 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'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."