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Monday, October 2, 2023

After my wife died I didn’t go to therapy but ITV dating show has helped me heal, says Your Mum, My Dad star Roger Hawes

WITH his piercing blue eyes and rugged good looks, silver fox Roger Hawes has already seduced the nation on My Mum, Your Dad – ITV’s new dating show for single parents of a certain age.

But the plucky postie has had a harder time finding love again on the programme because he is still getting over losing his wife Joanne to cancer 18 months ago.


Roger Hawes says being in the show has been cathartic[/caption]


Roger with his daughter Jess[/caption]


Roger breaks down as he tells his TV date Caroline about his late wife Joanne, leaving her in tears too[/caption]

Dad of three Roger, 59, was warned by some of his family not to put himself through the ordeal in front of millions of viewers.

So he is grateful to his 28-year-old daughter Jess, because although we have yet to see him form a bond with any woman on the show, simply taking part in it with her has given him new hope.

In his first newspaper interview, Roger told The Sun: “When Jess told me she had put me through, my mum and sister were worried I wasn’t ready.


“But I thought, ‘At worst I’d have some stories to tell at a party’.

“I’m never going to not talk about the wife. How can I forget? I look at the children and I can see my wife in them. She taught me how to love.

“I never got counselling — I sometimes wonder if I should have — but doing the show has been cathartic, it’s still helping us.”

The show has gathered a group of 40- and 50-something singles in a luxury mansion in Sussex, where their grown-up children secretly guide their dating journeys.


Davina McCall is host, and after just four episodes, the nation’s imagination has been captured by the format — largely due to the contestants’ raw, real stories, like widower Roger’s.

And that contrasts starkly with some of the teens and 20-somethings on Love Island, with which this show has inevitably been compared.

At the end of the first episode Roger spoke about losing Joanne, his wife of 31 years, telling how she beat breast cancer but then a melanoma skin cancer spread to her brain.

In the emotional scene, Roger recalled their final moment together: “One day she said, ‘I’m very tired, put me on the settee’. And then I come in about half an hour later . . .  she basically never woke up again.”


It reduced his first TV date, tech adviser Caroline, to tears and had viewers welling up too.

On bereavement, Roger said: “It’s weird how people treat you, especially at first.

“I find talking about it, not letting it be an elephant in the room, just makes it easier in the long run, not skirting around it or trying to ignore that it happened.

“I do openly tell people, I don’t want to apologise for mentioning my wife. She was a wonderful woman.”


And he said of his TV date: “I think I was lucky to meet such a down-to-earth and lovely person as Caroline and everybody in the house.”

Wonderful woman

Roger’s appearance in the show has sparked wider debate over his readiness for dating on national TV.

On ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday he said: “I sort of knew I wasn’t ready. It was difficult but it wasn’t something that I wanted to pass up.”

And he told The Sun: “I did struggle at first on the show. But the people in there helped me get through it.


“I was just hoping that maybe I could come out with some confidence.

“Losing Jo made me think in life you’ve got to go for it. If it’s a bungee jump or being strapped to the wing of a plane, I’ll do it.

“My brother said, ‘What an amazing chance — it will help take your mind off things’, so I didn’t set out with any goals or overthink it.”

During the show the singles are set up on dates by their own children, who are secretly spying on the action from their hidden bunker.


In a self-improvement group session in Wednesday’s episode Roger said: “I’m carrying resentment against cancer. It took my wife’s breast and then it wasn’t happy with that, it took her life.”

Watching the moment in tears in the observation room, daughter Jess said: “He’s said to me he wishes it was him that had died, because he doesn’t think he’s good enough to look after us without her.

“We found notes afterwards that she’d left us, and in those she said, ‘I want you to move on, I want you to find love’. So hopefully he gives himself the permission.”

So how does Roger think Jo would feel about him being on the show?


He said: “Some people have different personas and will be one way with their mates and another way with their work but with me there’s no hidden agenda.


Caroline is left in tears after Roger opened up[/caption]


In-shape Roger on My Mum, Your Dad[/caption]

“Jo knew me inside out, we knew what each other was thinking so she wouldn’t be surprised in anything I do or say.


“She’d be like, ‘Oh my god, I knew you’d be like this’. She wouldn’t be surprised in the least.”

When the programme was launched it was dubbed ‘middle-aged Love Island’ but Roger said: “When I saw it being called that, obviously Love Island has done so well but it’s just nothing like that.

“I can honestly say the relationships in there were very sincere. Every time somebody was a bit down, somebody would put their arm around them.

“Maybe it’s that there’s not a prize, maybe because of their age. I mean, I’m 59, so you can’t rub any edges off me. I’ll not be changed now.


“But in Love Island they’re trying to make some careers, put themselves forward and change their lives.

“I don’t want to change my life but I would like to enjoy what I’ve got left.”

Another difference between the two shows is the attitude to sex and what will be shown on screen.

Davina herself has said she was keen that producers did not air too much raunchy action.


Raunchy action

She told The Sun: “I’d rather watch the hint of love, a hint of something coming — ‘Should I, shouldn’t I?’ A moment of tenderness. That’s so exciting.

“But jumping into bed and sh*gging . . . once you’ve seen it once, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Roger said: “At the end of the day I think everyone was aware that their children were going to watch it.

“Obviously we had no idea they were already watching 24/7 — that was a massive surprise, my god — but just with age, I know there’s certain stuff I wouldn’t want my family to see.”


Host Davina spends a lot of time in the bunker with the children, and watching the series as it is screened nightly at 9pm on ITV1 has meant Roger can finally see how Jess coped in that room.

He said: “She has got a proper girl crush on Davina now and can’t speak highly enough of her and said how lovely she was.

“It’s Davina this, Davina that. Davina’s brilliant — we get it!”

And he added: “I have enjoyed watching it so far. The difference for me is I haven’t seen any of the footage about how Jess openly talks about her mum and me.


“I’ve cried a few times at that — it does get me very emotional.”

But there has been an unexpected positive from the show being screened — the public’s reaction.

Roger has been hailed a heartthrob and a style icon, with some saying he could become a model.

He said: “That has all been surreal. If anyone says anything nice about you in life, a job, it makes you feel good. But it’s all a bit strange as well.


“Every morning I dress myself and put my socks on, I even tie my own laces!

“No, to be honest, I’m always on ASOS, I order all sorts, I’m terrible. I’ve always liked clothes, I’ve got wardrobes full.

“I don’t know about influencer or model though. I’ll take the compliment but I’m not so sure.”

Roger certainly won’t be pursuing a social media career like many Love Island leavers do.


He said: “I think I’m on Instagram, but I’m not very good. We’ve been told not to look at anything while the show is on but my phone has been beeping a lot.

 “I mean, I know how these things go, with people writing nasty stuff.

“It wouldn’t upset me really, but I wouldn’t want to see anything about the family or somebody saying something about Jess. I would find that very upsetting.”

What has made Roger smile is the reaction to his frequent gaffes and gags.


He had viewers in stitches as he regaled one date with how he uses his own toothbrush to clean his dog’s teeth.

Pretty gross

Roger said with a laugh: “I have to say I don’t actually brush his teeth, I just let him lick the toothbrush because he likes it.

“When I clean my teeth he jumps up with his paws and looks at me, like, ‘Please can I just have one little lick?’ so I let him when I’ve finished. I always clean it after.

“Apparently it’s pretty gross. I am finding out that not everybody does this . . . 


“He’s unreal, he helped me through everything when my wife passed away. He’s such a loving dog, and I look after him every day. As everyone is realising, when I’m struggling with something I generally come out with a joke or make light out of something.

“There were moments when I thought, ‘What did I say that for?’ so that was another beauty I came out with.

“(Fellow TV parent) Elliott, he was very worldly wise and I’d make a joke and he’d say, ‘Rog, you’re doing it again, I’m being serious, I want you to be serious’.”

For now, Roger is braced for further embarrassing scenes as he laughs through his first dates in 40 years, with the nation looking on.


He added: “I’ve got a lot more confidence since My Mum, Your Dad.

“I think the most I can say without spoiling anything is I enjoyed the experience and I’m going to take a lot from it.”

  • My Mum, Your Dad continues every night at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

My Jo taught me how love

THE new dating show is a far cry from the way Roger first met Joanne back in the 1980s out on the town in his native Chesterfield in Derbyshire.


They went on to marry and have three children, son Ben and daughters Alex and Jess – who appears with Roger in the show.

Roger recalled: “Jo was a very pretty girl. She was 18, I was 24 and she used to see me out in the local pub.

“Then one night I was out in Chesterfield having a drink with my mate and he was with this girl and her mate was Joanne.

“Her mate came over and said, ‘I’m going with him but Joanne needs to get home – would you mind seeing her home?’


“And we went to the nightclub and we ended up kissing. And we never stopped kissing. You couldn’t pull us apart then.

“I think we kissed for about an hour and a half without parting.

“I had a really close upbringing when I was growing up, but we never chucked the word love about or anything like that, so Jo basically taught me how to love.

“She forged all the children and taught them how to love, and she was a major influence on all three of them.”



Roger and Joanne as young parents[/caption]


Davina McCall is host of the show and the nation’s imagination has been captured by the format[/caption]
September 15, 2023 at 01:21AM

from The Sun


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