My Mum, Your Dad star Roger Hawes has admitted he wasn't ready to date when he first joined the show, after losing his wife to cancer 18-months ago.
The ITV mid-life dating show debuted on Monday and saw eight single parents enter a West Sussex country house in the hopes of finding their second chance at love.
Postman Roger was nominated to appear on the dating show by his daughter Jess, who will also feature as he bids to find love alongside seven other mature singles.
Roger married late wife Joanne, a critical care nurse, in 1992, but his partner - the mother of his three children - passed away aged just 52.
During an appearance on Lorraine on Tuesday, the host asked if Roger was ready to date when he joined the show, to which he replied: 'I knew I wasn't. I loved it and think I get slightly better as it goes on. It was difficult but it wasn't something I couldn't pass up.'
Emotional: My Mum, Your Dad star Roger Hawes has admitted he wasn't ready to date when he joined the show after losing his wife to cancer 18-months ago
Heartbreaking: Roger married late wife Joanne, a critical care nurse, in 1992, but his partner - the mother of his three children - passed away aged just 52
While speaking about his late wife, he explained she wanted him to find someone new: 'She was perfect. to send a message and she's still controlling me... it didn't surprise me hearing what she said.'
Speaking on his first date in 40-years, he told the host: 'I think I was very lucky it was Caroline, she nursed me through it as I was very nervous.
Roger was joined by daughter Jess on Lorraine. Speaking about why she signed up her dad, she said: 'He needed it. We were sort of losing him a bit, he was losing himself, so we were losing the dad we knew.
'He shrunk back into himself, we said to him we're ok if you're ok (with doing the show). we thought if this is something you're interested in, go for it.'
On watching her dad, Jess added: 'It was really scary, I didn't know they were going to film me. the actual controlling the relationship, I'm a control freak so it was excellent! that side for me was perfect.
'We got him some confidence. there were workshops along the way. it wasn't about forcing him to date but just being around other single people.
'There's nothing wrong with being single, just hearing about other experiences, we thought they could help. everyone's been vetted so it was a safe space!'
The parents were dropped off at the lavish house by their adult children, who nominated their parents to appear on the show and then went off to meet host Davina McCall.
But the kids were given quite a shock when they were told they would be watching their parents' every moves from a nearby bunker and playing matchmakers.
The first episode saw the eight parents - Roger, Monique, Clayton, Caroline, Elliott, Sharon, Natalie and Paul - settle in and head out on their first dates.
viewers were left very emotional after Roger's date with Caroline and took to social media to gush over him and tell how they were rooting for him to find love.
The women had to pick which man they wanted to go on a first date with and Caroline picked Roger after the pair had a spark when first meeting earlier in the day.
But their date took a very emotional turn as Roger, 58, opened up about losing his late wife and the mother of his three children Joanne, who died at the age of 52 .
During an appearance on Lorraine on Tuesday, Roger admitted: 'I knew I wasn't. I loved it and think I get slightly better as it goes on. It was difficult but it wasn't something I couldn't pass up.'
Roger was joined by daughter Jess on Lorraine. Speaking about why she signed up her dad, she said: 'He needed it. We were sort of losing him a bit, he was losing himself, so we were losing the dad we knew.'
The heart-wrenching moment saw Roger - whose daughter Jess nominated him to be on the show - candidly open up to Caroline about the difficulties of losing his late wife.
He reduced Caroline to floods of tears as he spoke about how Joanne had a melanoma four years after her initial battle with cancer and died last year.
The postman became emotional as he heartbreakingly told how his late wife Joanne went to sleep on the sofa and never woke up again as he discussed his loss.
Taking to social media, viewers admitted they were left in floods of tears watching the emotional scenes and told how they were all rooting for Roger to find love again.
One wrote: 'In bits,' while another said: Absolutely not sobbing, nope, I'm totally fine right now,' and a third commented: 'Mate Roger deserves the best in life.'
Sharing their hopes for Roger and Caroline, another added: 'Ah bless the lovely Scottish lady was perfect for Roger, she was so lovely but I think it’s really too soon for him,' and one viewer gushed: 'Aww Roger…. What a True gent, big heart and the nation loves you. I think we all wanted to jump through the telly and give him a squeeze.'
Viewers also praised Caroline for her supportive reaction towards Roger as she reassured him that he couldn't have known how unwell his wife was before giving him a hug.
'I want you to feel you can open up to me,' Caroline said as they shared a very emotional moment on the date.
His daughter Jess was watching the date unfold with the other adult kids from the nearby bunker, and was sweetly comforted as she teared up watching her father.
Roger also recounted a sweet story about how he used to enjoy watching his late wife Joanne simply chat to his daughter Jess as he gushed over their close relationship before her passing.
Roger and his daughter Jess were quick to win over viewers' hearts in the debut episode, after Jess supportively spoke about how she wants her father to be happy.
Introducing themselves at the start of the episode, Roger admitted his apprehension at being on the show, having not been on a date in 37 years.
Roger tied the knot with his wife Joanne in 1992 and they were married for 30 years before her tragic death last year.
Jess, who lives just six doors away from her father, told how she and her siblings nominated Roger to be on the programme to show him it was OK for him to move on.
Jess told him on the show: 'We're OK if you want to start dating again... get back to being yourself.'
Later in the episode, when Davina told the adult children that they would 'play a bigger role' in their parents' journey and play matchmaker, Jess admitted her apprehension.
Sobbing: Roger and Caroline's date took a very emotional turn as Roger, 58, opened up about losing his late wife and the mother of his three children Joanne, who died at the age of 52
Spark: The women had to pick which man they wanted to go on a first date with and Caroline picked Roger after the pair had a spark when first meeting earlier in the day
Davina told the group of children that they wouldn't be filming content about having a single parent as they originally thought, but would be watching their parents via screens and playing matchmakers.
In another twist, their parents are completely unaware that their kids are watching and simply believe they are being guided by relationship experts - who are actually their kids.
After the big news was revealed, Jess confessed: 'The realisation of watching dad do his thing is a bit scary.'
The seven other children were also given quite a shock when they too were told they would be watching their parents' actions, before cringing over watching the first dates.
Also among the arrivals in episode one were Monique, 50, and her daughter Taiya, with the 21-year-old student urging her mother to 'get stuck in' at the start of the show.
As Monique drove to the house, pregnant Taiya told her not to be a 'fly on the wall' as she gave her advice about her mother re-entering the dating world on the show.
Monique said it has been four years since her last relationship and told how she lost her father in 2017 as she spoke about her life over the past few years.
Single mother Caroline, 51, was also nominated for the show by her daughter Karli, and told how she has been married twice and wants to find love again.
And she quickly had a spark with Roger as they had a flirty exchange upon arriving in the house, with Caroline remarking that the house looked 'a bit Bridgerton'.
Her comment prompted Roger to cheekily quip: 'And that is racy,' referring to the Netflix show's famously raunchy sex scenes.
Caroline then added: 'My life isn't like that,' but Roger teased: 'It could be,' as the pair got off to a very flirty start.
Also among the arrivals was PE teacher Elliott, 53, who told how he has never been married but would love to find someone he can tie the knot with.
He was nominated by his son Zach and said of his hopes to find true love: 'It's very rare to find it.'
Another singleton who entered the show was Sharon, 53, from Sunderland, who was nominated to appear by her social media influencer daughter Tia.
Sharon candidly told how she has been cheated on 'all her life' and wants to find love, but shared her nerves as her Tia said her mother has her walls up and is guarded about dating.
Pastoral care officer Clayton, 57, also made a grand arrival on the show alongside his son Christian, who said that his father was too 'rushy, rushy' when it came to dating.
Clayton, who proved himself to be quite the flirty lothario upon his entrance, told how he has lived alone for eight years as he discussed his dating past.
Single mother Natalie, who has been single for eight years, was also among the arrivals with her son Kaliel, as well as decorating company owner Paul, 51, and his daughter Mazey, 21.
Love: My Mum, Your Dad will see the single parents trying to find love, while their adult children will play matchmaker and watch their actions from a bunker
New show: It has been dubbed the 'Middle-Aged Love Island', but there will be no cash prize at the end and there will be no eliminations deciding when it is best for them to leave the show
After having a drink in the garden together, the single parents all started mingling and getting to know each other, before seeing who took each other's fancy.
Sharon shared her apprehension at the process with her fellow single mothers as she admitted that nobody was her typical type but promised to be open-minded.
The group of singletons then all caught up with Davina, who told them that they would be diving straight in for their first dates, with the women picking which man they wanted to take.
The parents all looked completely shocked, with Roger in particular looking worried and nervous as the women prepared to pick their dates.
Monique decided to take Paul on a date, while Sharon picked Elliott, as Natalie paired up with Clayton and Caroline chose Roger.
Most of the dates were a hit, but Paul appeared very apprehensive at first as Monique grilled him about what he was looking for in a partner.
One amusing moment also saw Roger confess to Caroline that he lets his dog use his toothbrush, with all the children cringing as they watched on from the bunker.
After the dates, the episode came to a cliffhanger ending as viewers got a flash of a new arrival entering the house, leaving the parents and kids alike shocked.
Jane, 47, is set to make her grand entrance to the show in the second episode on Tuesday alongside her son Will.
Asked why she thinks her son nominated her, Janey said: 'Because he's lost all hope for me, he thinks I'm undateable! He wants me to meet someone.'
Student Will, 20, told how he nominated his mother because 'i t's getting a bit desperate now! We need a good chance of getting her to find someone'.
He added: ' If it takes me to get involved, then that's apparently how dire things have got!'
Describing his mother's perfect partner, he said: 'They'd need to want to dive in the deep end. They need to be confident with me to go and have a day out just the two of us, and to get on with all her friends.
'Also someone that's loving in general, and would put her first.'
Over the course of two weeks, parents will undergo dates and bonding workshops while unknowingly being watched by their children from an out-house with 'pillows over their faces' in embarrassment.
It has been dubbed the 'Middle-Aged Love Island', but there will be no cash prize at the end and there will be no eliminations, with the children and the parents deciding when it is best for them to leave the show.
Concept: Over the course of two weeks, parents will then undergo dates and bonding workshops while unknowingly being watched by their children
Project: Host Davina McCall described the show as a 'dream come true' as she spoke about how she has always wanted to see middle-aged love represented on primetime TV
The show, based on an Australian version by the same name, will be hosted by Davina McCall, who wants to see contestants 'who've lived a life' and show mid-life people looking for love that 'not all is lost for them'.
Cameras will not be in the bedroom as Davina said: 'For me, personally speaking, I'd rather watch the hint of love, a moment of tenderness, something amazing. That's so exciting but like… sha**ing?
'It's sort of like once you've seen… it doesn't mean anything. This means f***ing something.
'When you see people falling, you know this is serious. That's so lovely. But yes, there are moments where the kids have got cushions over their faces. They've never seen their parents in a date situation.'
My Mum, Your Dad starts September 11 at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX. The series will run on consecutive weeknights for two weeks.
Meet the parents ... and their matchmaker kids!
Location: Winchmore Hill
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Kind-hearted, a believer in God and positive. I radiate love!
Why did your daughter nominate you for MMYD? To dip my toes back in the pool of dating, and try and connect with someone and find love, and experience living with other people again.
Profession: Safeguarding and welfare officer in education
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Fun, genuine, personable.
Why did your daughter nominate you for MMYD? She was getting desperate! I’d lost all confidence in myself. I think for Tia she was wanting to give me a bit of a helping hand.
Location: South Lanarkshire
Profession: Tech advisor/scan assistant at a private baby clinic
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Charismatic, outgoing and fun. I can be a bit fiery at times!
Why did your daughter nominate you for MMYD? I’ve been single for such a long time, it’s probably the longest I’ve ever been single! I’ve always been quite happy being single but I think she thought, ‘Mum, you need to get out there!’
Profession: Self-esteem and relationship recovery coach
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Adventurous, deep and outgoing.
Why did your son nominate you for MMYD? I’ve been on my own for a long time. I think he thinks it’s my time for me now.
Location: London, lives in Bath
Profession: Owner, decorating company
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Very chilled, laid back and loyal.
Why did your daughter nominate you for MMYD? She feels I need to sort myself out when it comes to dating!
Profession: Pastoral support officer
How would you describe yourself in a few words? I’m pretty effervescent. I’m all about balance in terms of fun - I’d say there’s a cheeky side to me.
Why did your son Christian nominate you for MMYD? He’d like to see me settled with someone I could have a future with.
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Fun, loving, conscientious, struggling to get old - I don’t want to get old. I lost my wife, I know that you can get up and life can be over in a split second.
Why did your daughter Jess nominate you for MMYD? 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’.
Following my wife passing 18 months ago, I didn’t really want to meet anyone. You don’t expect it to be you and you don’t expect it to be your wife. But I’m going on the show to get some confidence. I must have subconsciously wanted to meet someone by saying yes to the show.
Profession: PE teacher/football coach
How would your son describe you? He’d say I am good fun, easy going (I’m not easy going).
Why did your son nominate you for MMYD? He wants rid of me! I think the prospect of me being in his life for too much longer was a burden. No, he just wants me to be happy.
Location: West Sussex
Profession: Singer/recruitment manager
How would you describe yourself in a few words? Fun, kind, outgoing and creative.
Why did your son nominate you for MMYD? Because he’s lost all hope for me, he thinks I’m undateable! He wants me to meet someone.
Location: North London
Why did you nominate your mum to go on the show? I nominated my mum because I think she deserves love! She’s put everything aside to raise me and my sister for so many years so I thought now is my mum’s time.
Profession: Social media influencer
Why did you nominate your mum to go on the show? I feel like it’s finally her time to be happy. I think she’s put herself on the backburner to bring up myself and my sister. In the last few years I feel like she’s given up on love, so she didn’t want to try anymore. I hope putting her forward will be the push she needs to put herself first.
Location: South Lanarkshire
Profession: Flight attendant
Why did you nominate your mum to go on the show? She was single for a while and she doesn’t seem to have any luck with guys. So I thought why not?
Profession: Gas and plumbing apprentice
Why did you nominate your mum to go on the show? Because I wanted her to find someone and be happy. I saw it advertised and I thought it would be perfect for her.
Profession: University Student
Why did you nominate your dad to go on the show? I want to see him settled. The way he was dating before wasn’t working. I wanted him to date outside of the box.
Profession: Graphic artist/warehouse employee
Why did you nominate your dad to go on the show? I just want him to settle down, find the right person - he’s getting on now! I want him to live life with someone. I want him to travel with someone and get out there.
Profession: Network rail planner
Why did you nominate your dad to go on the show? It was a joint thing with my brother and sister and it was our way of basically telling him that we were happy for him to start dating, if that was something he wanted to do.
It was a cop out on our part really, as it meant we didn’t need to sit down and actually say it. It was a sneaky way of saying, ‘Oh look at this, do you want to look into this?’ Never actually expected anything to come of it.
It was about putting dad first. We’d never really thought about us, or about ourselves in that situation. I wasn’t thinking about how I’d react, I was thinking about him.
The reason for that is he does the same for us, he would always put family first. So it was just a way of saying to him, stop worrying about us. If he wasn’t ready, that was also totally fine. It wasn’t an ultimatum. It was just, if you want to, you can, don’t worry about us.
Profession: University student
Why did you nominate your dad to go on the show? He deserves a chance to be happy and he hasn’t had that. I want him to have what a lot of his friends have done; get married and settle down. He deserves the opportunity to find the ‘end stages’ of love.
Location: West Sussex
Why did you nominate your mum to go on the show? It’s getting a bit desperate now! We need a good chance of getting her to find someone.
If it takes me to get involved, then that’s apparently how dire things have got!