The daughter of My Mum, You Dad contestant Roger Hawes broke down on Wednesday evening as he discussed his ‘resentment to cancer’ after losing his wife to the disease 18-months ago.
The 58-year old postman, a father-of-three, has signed up to the new ITV1 dating show in a bid to move on following the death of wife Joanna – who ‘fell asleep on the sofa and never woke up’ after finding a melanoma behind her ear.
And he admitted to harboring a grudge against the illness for taking his wife when she was just 52-years old and leaving him a single parent during a date with Scottish tech advisor Caroline McGirr on Wednesday’s show.
Watching covertly from the show’s surveillance room, daughter Jess, 28, wiped away tears, admitting he rarely discusses the death of her mother.
‘It’s just weird hearing him say it because he doesn’t really talk about it,’ she said. ‘It’s like, everyone sort of knows who they are but they’re missing one piece, whereas his piece has been taken, and he’s lost everything.
Emotional: The daughter of My Mum, You Dad contestant Roger Hawes broke down on Wednesday as he discussed his ‘resentment to cancer’ after losing his wife to the disease
Picking up the pieces: The 58-year old postman, a father-of-three, has signed up to the new ITV1 dating show in a bid to move on following the death of wife Joanna
‘She was his hype, man. You know what we’re saying about his confidence and everything? He’s a totally different person. He’s always been confident. He’s always had my mum there telling him, “You’re a good looking man, you’re my man,” type thing, and he’s lost all that.’
Jess, a network rail planner from Derbyshire, added: ‘He said to me that he wishes it was him that had died instead of my mum, because he doesn’t think he’s good enough to look after us without her, whereas she could have looked after us without him.
‘We found notes that she’d left us afterwards, and in those notes, that’s where she said, like, “I want you to move on, I want you to find love.”‘
Roger captured the hearts of a nation after sharing the heart wrenching story of losing his wife to cancer just 18 months ago.
He told Caroline: : ‘We were on holiday in Italy and I just looked behind her ear, and it was irritating her – just a little spot behind her ear.
‘I said ”you need to get that checked out when you get back” and she did. She got seen to really quick, and it was melanoma. But she didn’t know that by that time the cancer had gone to her brain.’
Speaking about his late wife on breakfast show Lorraine, 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.’
Of his first date in 40 years, he added: ‘I think I was very lucky it was Caroline, she nursed me through it as I was very nervous.’
Tragedy: Roger married late wife Joanne (pictured), a critical care nurse, in 1992, but his partner died aged 52
Not ready for love: During an appearance on Lorraine on Tuesday, Roger said: ‘I knew I wasn’t [ready].’ Pictured: Roger with his daughter Jess
Emotional: Roger left fans in tears after he revealed that he his late wife went to sleep on the sofa and never woke up
Roger continued: ‘She said ”I’m really tired”, and I said ”come on I’ll put you to bed or do you want to go on settee?”, and she said ”put me on settee”. Then I come in about half an hour later, and obviously, I should have just phoned an ambulance straight away.’
Caroline, who was reduced to tears by the story, replied: ‘But you wouldn’t have known.’
Roger said: ‘She’d had breast cancer about three or four years ago, and she got over that before.’
Roger had admitted he was not yet ready to date when he first joined the show.
The father was nominated to appear on the programme by his daughter Jess, who also features as he bids to find love alongside seven other singletons.
Sympathy: Caroline (pictured) was reduced to tears on her first date with Roger after he revealed his wife went to sleep on the sofa and never woke up
Heartbroken: Widower Roger (pictured) left viewers in tears as some said he was not ready for love after the death of his wife 18 months ago
Support: Viewers of Your Mum, My Dad have took to Twitter to share their love for Roger who lost his wife to cancer
During an appearance on Lorraine on Tuesday, Roger said: ‘I knew I wasn’t [ready]. 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.’
On why his daughter Jess, who works as a planner for Network Rail, nominated him for the series – dubbed the middle-aged Love Island – he explains: ‘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”.’
His beloved wife Joanne is decribed as a ‘brave, courageous and wonderful woman’ in an online charity fundraiser in her honour.
It also says: ‘Jo was an incredible wife, mum, daughter, sister, Aunty, cousin and friend, she brought love, happiness and laughter to so many people’s lives.
‘As a nurse in critical care she showed compassion and kindness to families when they needed it most and she will always be remembered and loved by her colleagues.’
On Lorraine, Roger said: ‘Following my wife’s passing 18 months ago, I didn’t really want to meet anyone.
Pictured with his daughter Jess who nominated him for ITV’s new middle-aged dating show
‘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.’
Speaking about her dad, Jess, 28, revealed it was a joint decision by herself and her siblings to apply for the series on his behalf as they’re happy for him to start dating again.
Roger’s story left fans of the show emotional as they shared their support for the widower on social media.
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s only episode one and I already want nothing but the world for Roger, GIVE THAT MAN A HUG. #MyMumYourDad.’
Another wrote: ‘Aw Roger… What a true gent, big heart and the nation loves you. I think we all want to jump through the telly and give him a squeeze.’
A third said: ‘Brought me to welling up… So tough for him.’
New show: The series, which premiered last night, follows a group of middle aged single parents (pictured with their children) as they head to a romance retreat on a quest to find love again
Feeling good: Roger said ‘I’m going on the show to get some confidence. I must have subconsciously wanted to meet someone by saying yes to the show’
A fourth penned: ‘Poor Roger and family. His daughter said this is a way of giving him permission to meet someone. It’s not permission he needs it’s time he is not ready.’
While it’s been dubbed the ‘middle-aged Love Island’, rather than sunning themselves in a Spanish villa, they will be roaming the gardens of a West Sussex mansion.
The show is the brainchild of Davina McCall, who is presenting, as she wanted to see contestants ‘who’ve lived a life’ and show mid-life people looking for love that ‘not all is lost for them’.
On the show, parents will undergo dates and bonding workshops while unknowing being watched by their children from an out-house with ‘pillows over their faces’ in embarrassment.