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Kerri Quinn: Star of new bridal comedy says yes to real-life marriage proposal

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Kerri Quinn and fiancé Joseph (Josy) Sharma

Kerri Quinn and fiancé Joseph (Josy) Sharma

Kerri and Josy

Kerri and Josy

L-R: Jayne Wisener, Kerri Quinn and Diona Doherty who are set to star in new stage comedy Bridesmaids of Northern Ireland

L-R: Jayne Wisener, Kerri Quinn and Diona Doherty who are set to star in new stage comedy Bridesmaids of Northern Ireland

Kerri Quinn as Marlene Pettigrew in BBC One daytime drama Hope Street

Kerri Quinn as Marlene Pettigrew in BBC One daytime drama Hope Street

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Kerri Quinn and fiancé Joseph (Josy) Sharma

She's set to play a blushing bride-to-be in a new stage show, Bridesmaids of Northern Ireland.

And in a case of life imitating art, Hope Street star Kerri Quinn is now planning to wed after her boyfriend Joseph (Josy) Sharma popped the question during a weekend break in Dublin.

The Belfast actress, who plays Sgt Marlene Pettigrew in the BBC One daytime crime drama, had no idea a proposal was on the cards and had almost scuppered the surprise when she put off a romantic trip to Paris, where Josy had been intending to ask her to marry him.

But undeterred, he got down on one knee last week in their Dublin hotel room and a delighted Kerri said yes.

The couple, who were neighbours and friends before their relationship blossomed, have not yet set a date for their big day, but Kerri wants to wait until after her brother's wedding in September this year, before she starts planning their own.

In the meantime, she has series two of Hope Street to keep her busy and a lead role in Diona Doherty's new comedy about a bride-to-be and her two best friends who are at each other's throats throughout the planning of the hen do, the engagement party and the wedding.

Kerri, who also starred in Coronation Street and BBC One dramas Three Families, and Come Home, said she had been single for some time and wasn't looking for love when she met north Belfast man Josy during lockdown. But she said the relationship felt right and that her fiancé made her feel 'like the only woman in the world'.

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“We met by pure chance, on the doorstep really, and it grew from a friendship into something more,” Kerri said.

“It was obvious from the start that there was a spark between us, but we took it slowly because we wanted to be sure.

“We'd been away to Amsterdam on a break and were planning to go to Paris soon after, but my daughter Libby, who's 10, missed me so much when I was away that I decided to cancel Paris.

“Josy was so disappointed about this. He was gutted really, but of course I didn't know what he had been planning.

“We went to Dublin last week as a belated celebratory trip for his birthday and I was just about to FaceTime Libby in the hotel room, when I turned round and Josy was down on one knee, looking really nervous and holding a wee box out.”

The box contained a Haribo sweet in place of a ring, but Josy already had one in mind and brought Kerri to the jewellers to show it to her. Kerri said the antique ring was perfect and exactly what she would've chosen for herself.

“The proposal was so simple and heartfelt and beautiful,” she said.

“Josy had been in a relationship for a long time and when it ended, he wasn't expecting to meet anyone else. He said I was his bolt of lightning.

“I never really saw myself getting married before to be honest, but now that we're engaged, I'm really excited about it.

“We’ll probably go away to get married and will have just family there but maybe there'll be a party at the Supper Club in Belfast afterwards.”

In Bridesmaids of Northern Ireland, which goes on tour this October before a week-long run at the Grand Opera House and a finale at the Millenium Forum in Derry, Kerri plays Sarah, who's about to get hitched.

Diona Doherty (Soft Border Patrol and Blame Game) not only wrote the comedy but stars as Becky, the loyal maid-of-honour whose life unravels as she leads the bride-to-be on a wild ride down the road to matrimony. However, tensions arise between Becky and Sarah’s new best friend Tiffany, played by Jayne Wisener (Sweeney Todd, Inbetweeners) over just who is the bride's best friend. The bad feeling threatens to upend the wedding planning that the two best friends have talked about since primary school. The show features dance offs, sing-offs and a hen do — in a caravan in Millisle.

“The script is absolutely hilarious and really captures the Belfast humour,” said Kerri.

“There's a lot of competition between the two girls, one who grew up with Sarah and the other, who's new on the scene and has loads of money.

“Music is prevalent throughout the show too and links each scene. It's very clever and lots of other characters are referenced, though we never see them.

“They end up having the hen do in a caravan in Millisle. It's a lot of craic and will be a really fun night out, but I think my own hen do and wedding will be a lot more straightforward than Sarah’s.”
 

— Bridesmaids of Northern Ireland, sponsored by Younique Aesthetics, will tour NI in October with a run at the Grand Opera House from Monday, October 17 to 22. For tickets, contact www.goh.co.uk or phone box office 028 90 241919


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