It’s really happening — the “The Golden Bachelor” officially has a starring senior to lead the show. Gerry Turner is a 71-year-old father and grandfather from Indiana who loves pickleball, four-wheeling and barbecues with friends and family, ABC announced on July 17.
Turner is a former restauranteur who “lives in his dream house on a beautiful lake in Indiana,” according to the announcement, and roots for his favorite teams in Chicago.
“I’d love it if I found a partner who was high energy, someone who’s fairly competitive, that they enjoy sports,” he told “Good Morning America.” “Someone that maybe plays pickleball, someone that maybe plays golf.”
Turner married his high school sweetheart, Toni, in 1974. After 43 years of marriage, she died following a sudden illness in 2017.
“I have her picture on a dresser in my closet,” he told “GMA” of Toni. “Every morning I give her the nod, ‘So what do you think about this?’ For a while it was like, I was having a hard time figuring out if she would be OK. But we always told each other, when one of us goes, we want the other one to be happy.”
Their two daughters, Angie and Jenny, talked him into trying to get on the show. (Turner also has two granddaughters, Charlee and Payton.)
“Because it’s never too late to fall in love again,” Turner says in a promo clip for the show.
The Bachelor franchise first announced a new spinoff for seniors in May, but fans have been waiting much longer than that to find out who the first Golden Bachelor would be. The franchise has had casting calls for “active and outgoing single men and women in their golden years” since early 2020.
“The Golden Bachelor” is set to premiere this fall on ABC, and you can stream it the next day on Hulu.