And all because the lady loves... New Milk Tray Man announced

Patrick McBride is a 39-year-old fireman from Liverpool

Milk Tray Man, Cadbury, Patrick McBride, Firefighter, Liverpool

New Milk Tray Man Patrick McBride

Chocolate group Cadbury has revealed the identity of the new Milk Tray Man, following an extensive search which saw over 20,000 applications.

Patrick McBride is a 39-year-old fireman from Liverpool.

Over the next year, Patrick will don the iconic black polo neck as he embarks on a mission to show people what real thoughtfulness is.

Alongside the iconic escapades of the Milk Tray Men of the 1960s to 1990s - where they went to extreme lengths in order to deliver a box of chocolates to the people they loved.

Patrick's new role will also see him showing a caring and sensitive side to the enigmatic figure.

Patrick is also a family man, who impressed the judges with his down to earth yet heroic nature.

Patrick said: "When my wife nominated me for this role I never thought I'd actually get it".

Fireman by day, Milk Tray Man by night...

"To be the one selected out of over 20,000 people is incredible and I still have to pinch myself on a daily basis - it is truly life-changing".

"I'm honoured to have been chosen to take on this iconic role and I can't wait to show people the next chapter in the Milk Tray Man story", he added.

The return of this iconic hero marks the centenary of the box of chocolates, which celebrated its 100th birthday last year.

For his first mission as the new Milk Tray Man, Patrick has asked the Irish public to nominate a friend, colleague or loved one who they think deserves to receive his first Irish delivery of Cadbury Milk Tray on Friday 5th February.

Sinead Manly, Seasonal Brand Manager at Mondelez Ireland, said: "We knew that the new Milk Tray Man needed to be thoughtful as well as adventurous so we were delighted to meet Patrick, who we feels really embodies these great qualities".

Patrick steps into the shoes of James Coombes, the latest man to have starred in the iconic adverts.

James said: "I think Patrick is the ideal choice and will make a brilliant Milk Tray Man - I couldn't have picked a better successor myself".