Celebrating 20 years of marriage this Christmas are Sue and Alex Tatham... and why are we sharing this anniversary on our blog you may ask? Well it just so happens that Sue and Alex have a delightful story to share of how they met and came to be deliriously happy 20 years on.....
The couple first met in the most unlikely circumstances... as contestants on Cilla Black’s famous TV show Blind Date!
‘Looking back, even when I was asked to audition for Blind Date, I never believed for one second that I would get to appear on the show. And I certainly never believed for one moment that I would ever meet the girl I would marry. Not in a million years.’ ‘Not in a billion years,’ Sue corrects him.
Alex was working as a trainee accountant when an office junior asked whether anyone in the office was interested in becoming a contestant on Blind Date and Alex thought it sounded like great fun and thought why not! Six months later he got a letter from the show inviting him to audition.
Meanwhile Sue had not thought the idea such fun and had in fact been secretly entered by a few of her friends whilst working as a recruitment consultant. The friends later recieved a rejection letter from staff at programme makers London Weekend Television. They insisted that any contestant must apply personally. Egged on by her friends Sue eventually agreed!
Blind date was a huge hit in the eighties watched by 18.2 million viewers every week!‘It was, in a way, the first TV reality show and I just thought I’d be showing off very heavily, that it would be a funny experience and would be something I could laugh about for the rest of my life,’ Alex revealed.
Alex, who chose a date, loved the attention and the 'whoops' from the audience while Sue was shaking like a leaf throughout the whole show as she was aired to the nation in competition with Lyn from Middlesex and Kate from Essex.
‘I don’t know why I chose Sue,’ says Alex, now 46. ‘She simply sounded very nice – and she was. Our date was to fly off to Ireland for a medieval banquet. We hit it off from the word go. Even on the plane flying out we discovered we both had exactly the same values in life.'
After their first date they went down to London and Alex took Sue to London Zoo before later taking her out for dinner and by the end of the evening the couple had shared their first kiss.
The following day, after filming the Blind Date segment in which the couple regaled Cilla and the viewers with details of their date and hinted there was a definite spark, Alex knew he was falling for Sue... three years of courtship followed with Sue keeping her job in the West Midlands, while Alex stayed over 130 miles away in London to finish his accountancy qualification. Many a time the couple struggled with the distance but never gave up on their relationship.
The time came when Alex decided to pop the question to Sue but just one nagging thought was holding him back before he bit the bullet. As befitting an Old Etonian from a privileged family, he led a very full social life of cocktail parties and dinner parties and he wondered whether Sue, from a less worldly background, could accept his determination to remain in the capital. ‘That was the thing I worried about most,’ Alex admits. ‘I had a very good social life and wanted to ask Sue to marry me on the condition that she move to London. I was so worried she’d say no!’ Sue however could think of nothing more perfect but dare not say it out loud so as not to tempt fate!
Alex’s planned proposal of marriage once he had summoned the courage was then indirectly scuppered by Princess Anne’s former husband, Captain Mark Phillips when upon about to pop the question Captain Phillips entered the restaurant and attention soon was upon him and the moment passed and Alex lost his bottle.
Ten days later the loved up young couple were babysitting Sue’s young cousin Ben when he asked, “Are you two married?” Ben replied with “Do you think we should be?” and Ben nodded with enthusiasm.”And that was that! A ring made of Ben's Play-Doh was made that night and the proposal took place!
|Sue and Alex 20 years on|
After meeting on the show and dating for three years, Alex and Sue married in 1991 in a traditional church ceremony, with Cilla among the guests in a televised ceremony. ‘Sue and I were from extraordinarily different backgrounds, and we were brought together in a rather lovely way. ‘But for Blind Date, we would never have met and we are enormously lucky to have each other. I’m a very strong believer in what will be will be – and, anyway, that’s rather a good defence mechanism generally in life' said Alex.
Sometimes fate just takes it's course...
As we leave behind 2011 and enter 2012 we at Simply Bows and Chair Covers wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulously happy (and romantic) New Year :)