Roger Hawes is among contenders on the dating programme My Mum, Your Dad where single parents have been nominated by their grown-up kids for a second chance at love.
He lost his wife of 30 years to cancer 18 months ago, a disclosure that left viewers of the ITV programme heartbroken and moved his first TV date, tech advisor Caroline, to tears.
However, in spite of their champagne date any spark between them may have fizzled out for Roger and brunette Caroline. Roger, who admits to preferring blondes, is likely to have had his head turned by Janey who made a grand entrance in hot pink shorts and matching jacket.
Qualities that 58-year-old Roger is looking for in a potential partner are kindness, a sense of humour and a nice person with whom he can find common ground.
Away from the glare of the spotlight, candidates will be queuing up for a date with Derbyshire’s ‘silver fox’ if social media reaction is anything to go by. Fans posting on x, the platform formerly known as Twitter, have likened Roger to ‘a posh Paul Hollywood.’
The dad of three was put forward for the programme by his eldest daughter Jess, 28, who is a planner for Network Rail. Roger said: “She’s a lovely girl. Her mum was really thoughtful in everything - she could plan things to a detail - and Jess has got that. She is so thoughtful and it was just a lovely thing for her to say, ‘Dad, look, we understand that you’re struggling and it’s been hard and we know that you’ve got a lot of love to give and we’re OK if you were to see someone else’. So much so that she put me forward. They just wanted me to know they’d be happy to see me with someone else and just want me to be happy.”
Roger said that Jess would describe him as a happy and fun-loving dad who is caring. He added: “I’ve always found that hard being the dad and having to tell them off, rather than being the friend. We’ve been on holiday probably 40 times and I go out with them, we’re really social.”
My Dad, Your Mum – dubbed Love Island for the middle-aged – focuses on single parents in their mid 40s to late 50s brought together in a West Sussex country house. Their children keep watch from a room called The Bunker and decide their parents’ dating fate.
Davina McCall devised and hosts the programme which was one of the reasons that persuaded Roger to take part. He said: “I get to cuddle Davina! There’s an experience here that I don’t want to look back and think, ‘Why didn’t you try it?’”
The programme goes out weekdays on ITV at 9pm.