After melting the hearts of viewers nationwide on their first date, Daniel Wakeford will soon celebrate one year with his girlfriend, Lily.
Their meeting was televised as part of Channel 4‘s series, The Undateables and their romance quickly blossomed, with Lily declaring she fancied Daniel at the pub as they chatted about music and The X Factor.
They shared their first kiss the same day and Channel 4 dubbed it ‘the best date in the history of the world’:
Since appearing on the show – which offended some and delighted others – Daniel has gone from strength to strength, he told the Mirror Online.
The 30-year-old Brightonian with autism has been touring the country promoting his music, which helped him impress Lily on their date back in 2017.
Daniel’s second album, That’s How I See It, was released in September 2018, featuring tracks like It’s A Wonderful City, which is about his hometown.
Autism had made Daniel very shy when he was growing up, and meant he found it difficult to communicate at times. But he always had a love of singing and songwriting, which helped him express his feelings.
His early songs were often about his desire to meet someone special he could share his passion with, and Daniel quickly found favour with the viewing public when he performed his song The Black of Lonely on The Undateables.
You can listen to the track on his YouTube channel:
Hundreds of thousands of people have been streaming his music online, and in a ‘lovely’ twist of fate, Lily is always in attendance at Daniel’s gigs.
He told the Mirror:
Lily likes me on the telly, and now she’s being my girlfriend. It feels so lovely when I’m with her. It’s been nearly a year now.
Daniel’s mum, Carol, 60, had even set up a dating agency for people with learning disabilities to help him find ‘the One’, and couldn’t be more pleased her son has found happiness with Lily.
Carol said seeing her son’s relationship with Lily ‘blossom’ has been a ‘wonderful’ experience.
Speaking of Lily, Daniel’s mum added:
She loves coming to Daniel’s shows and cheering him on from the front – and Daniel always likes to dedicate one of his songs such as I Love Girlfriend or A Song for You to her.
It seems the two music lovers are totally smitten.
Meanwhile, Daniel is on the road again, doing a nationwide tour supporting his new album.
Daniel said meeting Lily has really marked a turning point in his confidence, and his music, too.
Describing his relationship with Lily, he said:
It was so wonderful to my life. I was a little bit nervous, I used my powerful voice and my soft voice.
Everything is really great when I’m being a famous star. I love meeting my fans.
…And they turn up in their hundreds to meet Daniel, too, with the Brighton singer amassing quite the fanbase.
Carol said she and Daniel’s dad, Barry, 69, are really proud of Daniel and what he’s achieved with his music, adding:
I think back to when he was young and he was very shy, and now he’s entertaining thousands of people who love him for who he is.
It’s so important too in changing society’s perceptions of what people with learning disabilities can achieve.
While the show’s title did receive some criticism, the match-making service which The Undateables utilises to help love bloom on television for participants, has a pretty good track record.
Congratulations to Lily and Daniel!
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.