If you watched the BBC’s harrowing real-life drama Three Girls earlier this week then you’ll be familiar with Sara Rowbotham, the social worker played by Maxine Peake who worked tirelessly to expose the widespread sexual abuse of girls in Rochdale between 2008 and 2012.
Maxine Peake in Three Girls and the real Sara, right
But you might have been surprised to see the REAL Sara turn up on last night’s First Dates, with the 50-year-old heading to the Channel 4 show to find love after years of campaigning and work while single.
Speaking about her rage at how long the sexual abuse went on before anything was done – “I just became a big fire ball, I was really angry,” she said – Sara quickly gained support from viewers, who were keen to see a real-life hero find romance.
Sadly, in this week’s episode Sara didn’t find her soulmate – she and date Nicky, a dog trainer, just decided to stay friends instead – but we’re sure she’ll have more luck in the future. And if nothing else, she’ll have plenty of love from the UK’s TV viewers.
First Dates continues on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 10:00pm