Belfast Telegraph

Lampard scores a beauty!

By Victoria O’Hara

Christine Bleakley has revealed that her footballer fiance Frank Lampard did “the very right thing” and asked her parents' permission before asking her to marry him.

The Northern Irish star said she was “beyond shocked” and burst into tears when Lampard popped the question.

The Daybreak presenter called the ITV1 show from Los Angeles where she is on holiday with the Chelsea and England midfielder.

She told Daybreak: “I was beyond shocked. It wasn't very glamorous, it wasn't very fancy, I know maybe some people might expect that.

“It was very personal, very private, actually. We were just having a gorgeous lunch by the beach and he simply popped the question.

“It was completely out of the blue and he was starting to build up to it and it was a little bit lovey-dovey and halfway through the lovey-dovey bit I realised what he was about to say and I started to cry.”

Christine, who grew up in Newtownards, also revealed he got one of his friends to fly out with the ring so she would not see it and spoil the surprise.

The 32-year-old star and sportsman met at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2009 after being introduced by Piers Morgan and England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

Lampard has two children from a previous relationship with Elen Rivas, his ex-fiancee. They split in 2009.

Speaking about their relationship in an interview, Bleakley (32) said: “We enjoy our own little home life: cooking together, lighting candles, watching TV — and going to bed rather early. We're very compatible.”

The ITV1 presenter said she and her fiance — who is 33 next week — tended to shun the usual showbiz haunts and prefer to go “under the radar” to local restaurants.

She said it had been “quite an old-fashioned courtship”.

Lampard's agent Steve Kutner described it as a “surprise engagement proposal”.

Rumours had been rife that the footballer was planning to get down on one knee on board one of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's luxury yachts.

And the wedding speculation just kept on growing. The pair had reportedly been spotted in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church, near Christine’s home.

Christine was previously engaged to Christian Stokes, a Dublin restaurateur, and also had a three-year relationship with Belfast bar owner Mark Beirne.

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