Thetford man, 70, looks for love on First Dates

Ted Bateman at home at Thetford with Jax his Alsatian cross. Widower Ted has appeared on the Channel

Ted Bateman at home at Thetford with Jax his Alsatian cross. Widower Ted has appeared on the Channel 4 TV programme First Dates. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

As many older single people would doubtless tell you, finding a partner is not just a game for the young.

This is certainly the attitude of Ted Bateman, who went looking for love on the popular Channel 4 show First Dates last Tuesday.

The 70-year-old, from Thetford, was widowed three years ago when his wife of 43 years, Carol, died. He has dated a number of women since then, but said no one will ever replace her.

On being widowed, he said: 'You never get over it, but you learn to live with it.

'The women I see could never replace what I had, but we always enjoy ourselves and treat each other nicely.

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'It's just about enjoying the time you have left. I know my wife would not want me sitting indoors and being miserable.'

Mr Bateman said his television debut on First Dates, which was filmed last November, was not at all daunting for him.

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'I'm not the type of person to get nervous. I get in the frame of mind that it's just like having a job interview. Neither of us knows each other, but you want to get on,' he said.

For his date at a restaurant near St Paul's Cathedral, in London, Mr Bateman was paired with the glamorous Marion, and the pair got a good reception on Twitter from viewers.

He said their mutual interest in golf was a big talking point. Although not a regular golfer, Mr Bateman has played at Thetford Golf Club and Wymondham Pitch and Putt.

He said: 'She was a nice enough lady and we got on, but in the end we just went our separate ways.'

Although he and Marion didn't hit it off on the show, it has not dented Mr Bateman's dating confidence.

He's been seeing his current partner, who comes from Newmarket, for a month.

Aside from the women in his life Mr Bateman's closest friend is Jax, his five-year-old Alsatian cross.

'He is my life, I'm with him all the time. If the women I meet don't like dogs, that's the end of it,' he said.

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