Northern Ireland man Damian on First Dates wins hearts as he reveals his Tourette's battle
'It's like having this constant companion follow you around that upsets you and makes you laugh. It's when it catches you unawares'
A Northern Ireland man has won the hearts of the nation after appearing on dating show First Dates.
The Channel 4 programme returned on Tuesday night and viewers were introduced to Damian from Londonderry.
The 24-year-old, who now lives in Brighton, suffers from Tourette's and bravely revealed on the programme that a break-up led to him being diagnosed with the condition in 2013.
He said: “I took that break up really hard, I just didn't think I could cope. It was at that point that the ticks started. I couldn't even speak because I was just ticking constanty.
"I remember my dad getting upset and I could tell that he was trying to hold back tears and so because of that I thought the best way to cope with this is to joke about it."
He added: "I don’t know if it will go or if it will stay, but I've made my peace with it. Either way I've changed and that's not necessarily a bad thing."
He matched with businessman and part-time model Kai from Manchester.
And it wasn't just Twitter which had an outpouring of love for Damian - Channel 4 said Damian and Kai are still together and have met each other's families.
Kai and Damian are giving me life #firstdates— Sam (@samcardwell_) August 10, 2016
So we're all in love with the beardy guy Damian from Derry, right?#FirstDates— Rob Holley (@robagain) August 9, 2016
Damien and Kai openly discussing mental health and depression on #FirstDates massive respect. Fully relatable.— Taylor James (@taylorxjamesx) August 9, 2016
Damian is my new favourite person. He's such a character. So hope these guys hit it off! #FirstDates— Christopher Hall (@chrishall9011) August 9, 2016
Damian rocks! Fair play to this guy. Respect #FirstDates— Carla (@CarlaFette) August 9, 2016
Catching up on @FirstDates and Damian from Derry with tourettes-full respect, must be such a difficult condition to live with.— Rachel Butler (@RMcQuillan) August 10, 2016
#FirstDates Kai and Damian are the loveliest most adorable pair ever. I'm cheering for them both I just love them.— Deborah Smith (@DeborahLenorah) August 9, 2016
So never watched #firstdates before. Do they update on whether it progressed or not? Will worry about Damian otherwise— Tom Crawford (@Tomster72) August 9, 2016
Kai and Damian going on date after date has made my 2016. And prolly my 2017, too #firstdates— Tom Hayes (@CllrTomHayes) August 9, 2016
Belfast Telegraph Digital