A Take Me Out contestant who lost his job at York Chocolate Story after he took time off to film the show later hanged himself, an inquest heard.

Charlie Watkins, 22, who had taken anti-depressants in the past, went on the TV dating show in a bid to find ‘the one’ after saying he was disappointed he had been unlucky in love during his three years studying at the University of York.

York Coroner’s Court heard the criminology graduate took a job at the chocolate museum and shop in King’s Square after he graduated.

But due to filming commitments in November 2016 for the dating show at Maidstone Studio in Kent, and being in his probationary period of employment, he lost the job.

His twin brother Harry Watkins said his brother did not tell work about his whereabouts because he couldn’t have his phone with him during the Take Me Out filming.

He missed calls from work and had his employment terminated when he returned, the inquest heard.

A spokesman for York Chocolate Story said: “Although Charlie only worked for us for a short time (five weeks), he was a well-liked and sociable member of the team.

“Due to filming commitments with Take Me Out Charlie was unable to complete his probationary period.

“The team here were shocked and saddened by the news of Charlie’s passing and made a donation to Mind - Mid & North East Essex in Charlie’s memory.

“Our deepest condolences go out to all of his family and friends.”

Mr Watkins’ lacrosse team mate and housemate Swabir Abdulrehman, 24, told the inquest: “He really loved his job at the chocolate factory - he was happy.

“But when he went to go film for the Take Me Out TV programme, he lost his job - they terminated his contract.”

The inquest heard his family and friends confirm Mr Watkins had self-harmed previously and taken anti-depressant medication in the past.

But Mr Abdulrehman said those days were behind him and at the time “he was cheerful and happy”.

Mr Watkins’ psychiatrist Vivienne Sabre described him as “the life and soul of every party, but would suddenly retreat into the back of his mind moments later”.

After graduating in June 2016 he posted: “My one regret is not finding that one woman for me to spend the rest of my life with.”

Known on Take Me Out as Chaz Man, he was called up to join match-making host Paddy McGuinness - and won a date with contestant Jo-Tara.

The Max and Paddy star McGuinness had tweeted saying the episode in which Mr Watkins appeared on the show would be dedicated to his memory.

It was broadcast on April 23 after ITV was granted the go-ahead from his family.

McGuinness, 43, tweeted at the time: “Tonight’s Take Me Out is in memory of Charlie. A fantastic lad who I’m sure will be greatly missed by his wonderful friends and family. RIP.”

The inquest heard Mr Watkins had spent the day before his death drinking with his brother in Leeds, before enjoying a charity dinner with friends in York.

He was found hanged the following evening in his bedroom by his flat mates on March 13 this year.

The inquest heard Mr Watkins suffered after losing his mother when he was aged nine, and then his grandmother, grandfather and aunt within a five-year period.

North Yorkshire Coroner Rob Turnbull said he “unable to answer questions put in front of him” as Mr Watkins left no suicide note and his mother had died “some years ago”.

Returning a conclusion of suicide, Mr Turnbull said: “Charlie was witty, charming and a considerate young man - that is what people thought of him.”

He added that Mr Watkins was a “popular young man” and it was in a “sad set of circumstances his life was to end the way it did”.

A spokesperson for York Chocolate Story said Charlie had filmed pre-show segments at the company's premises for his showreel for the programme on November 17, 2016. 

The following day he travelled back to Kent with the film crew to shoot scenes for the programme, which his employer was aware of. 

However, the spokesperson said he was supposed to return to work on the Monday but could not be contacted for the following week. 

The spokesperson said: "Charlie worked at York's Chocolate Story as a full time tour guide at the museum and we knew about his Take Me Out commitments because some were filmed here in York. 

"He filmed the pre-show snippets with the Take Me Out crew in our premises on the Thursday [November 17, 2016]. 

"He then went to the studios with the team the next day and, as you can see from the programme, he won a trip to the Isle of Fernando's. 

"He was supposed to be in work on the following Monday, but he didn't show up for work. 

"Charlie was missing for a full week - he didn't let us know he might be potentially having the week off. 

"He was reported as AWOL (Absence Without Leave) and he didn't get in touch with his line manager to say he would be taking the time off or return our calls. 

"We weren't aware of any of Charlie's mental health issues at the time." 

A statement from Mr Watkins' family at the time of his death said: “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.

"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.”

l Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. The NHS 24/7 crisis service in York is on 01904 526582. If somebody is at serious risk of harm you should call 999. York Mind offers support on 01904 643364.