Celebrating a 30th anniversary, Blind Date’s first married couple share their formula for happiness


Thirty years of marriage is a trigger for celebration in anybody’s e-book. However when your relationship began on a tv relationship present, that certainly takes it into a completely totally different league.

In spite of everything, whereas they could be scores hits, nobody expects the myriad relationships solid on reveals reminiscent of Love Island and Married At First Sight to last more than 5 minutes.

Certainly, it will be truthful to say that the faster the relationships collapse, the extra entertaining we discover all of it. The make-ups and break-ups, the jealous spats, the tears and tantrums are all grist to the mill.

So no surprise Sue Tatham, 55, and her husband, Alex, 56, are feeling decidedly blessed nonetheless to be collectively and blissfully blissful after celebrating their 30th marriage ceremony anniversary on October 19 with their kids Emily, 27, and Charlie, 25.

When Alex — then an ebullient 23-year-old accountant — picked the shy however smiley 22-year-old Sue on ITV’s iconic relationship present Blind Date in 1988, nobody might have anticipated they might forge a life-long relationship, least of all of the couple themselves.

With out Blind Date — which was offered by the late Cilla Black and, in its heyday, attracted 18.2 million viewers each Saturday evening — there isn’t any means on earth they might have met.

Sue Tatham, 55, and her husband, Alex (pictured), 56, have been blessed to have a good time their 30th marriage ceremony anniversary on October 19 with their kids Emily, 27, and Charlie, 25

To say they moved in several social circles is an understatement. Alex had been educated at Eton after which Durham College. His household featured usually in society bible Tatler, with one report overlaying Alex’s twenty first birthday celebration at their residence in Fulham, West London.

Stalwartly center class, Sue is the product of a complete within the West Midlands and left faculty at 18 to work in a DHSS workplace.

But when the present’s producers have been hoping for comedic mileage out of a tradition conflict between the pair — even perhaps some fireworks — then they have been upset.

Alex and Sue made TV historical past because the first Blind Date couple to get married. Cilla Black was the visitor of honour at their marriage ceremony in October 1991, turning up in a hat so magnificent it had a starring function of its personal.

Right here they’re at their beautiful residence in London celebrating a milestone anniversary and looking out each bit as smiley and enthusiastic about life as when that well-known curtain swept again 33 years in the past.

So what’s their secret? How have they constructed such a profitable marriage when nearly each different couple introduced collectively on a relationship present (there have been solely two different Blind Date marriages over 18 collection) has fared so badly?

‘I positively wasn’t trying for a husband,’ Sue, a former trainer who now ‘manages life’, admits candidly. ‘I simply went on the present for a little bit of enjoyable. It was the largest TV programme of its day. Everybody wished to be a part of it.’

Alex agrees. ‘I’ve at all times been a show-off,’ he smiles. ‘I used to be trying for a chuckle — not a spouse.’

Without Blind Date ¿ which was presented by the late Cilla Black and, in its heyday, attracted 18.2 million viewers every Saturday night ¿ there is no way on earth they would have met

With out Blind Date — which was offered by the late Cilla Black and, in its heyday, attracted 18.2 million viewers each Saturday evening — there isn’t any means on earth they might have met 

In reality, so blasé was Alex, who was doing the ‘choosing’, he confesses he really went ‘eenie, meenie, minie mo’ in his head earlier than plumping for Sue, who was sitting within the center between her brunette rivals — Lyn from Middlesex and Kate from Essex.

And but speaking to this enchanting couple, it is clear that no matter their intentions and people of the TV producers, they’ve discovered the key of a profitable relationship.

‘We have now one another’s backs,’ says Sue. ‘No matter life throws at us, we’re there for one another. If we’re at a celebration, Alex will at all times have an eye fixed on me, checking I am OK.

‘We might come from totally different backgrounds, however now we have related values. We each hate arguments and make it a precedence to have a pleasant ambiance. Household comes first, at all times. 

‘Most of all, we wish to have enjoyable. We love making an attempt new experiences collectively. And, imagine it or not, I nonetheless get goosebumps when Alex walks into a room.’

And it began the second the curtain rolled again . . . and had little or no to do with seems to be.

‘My solely dread was that Alex could be quick,’ admits Sue who at 5 ft 6 in was so involved she would find yourself with a height-challenged man she borrowed a buddy’s flat footwear for the evening.

When the mop-haired Alex — a formidable 6 ft 2 in — appeared, Sue immediately relaxed.

Alex, in the meantime, was struck by bubbly blonde Sue’s large smile.

However it was as they left the set, hand in hand, all set for a date in Eire, that their future was set.

‘Alex whispered to me: ‘That is going to be a unprecedented expertise which we’ll speak about for the remainder of our lives. No matter comes of it, let’s be certain that we at all times keep mates,’ ‘ remembers Sue.

‘It summed up precisely how I felt. Figuring out that Alex valued kindness as a lot as I did made me heat to him instantly. So most of the Blind Date {couples} bitched about each other afterwards.’

They did certainly. And cynics would possibly recommend that that is precisely what TV producers have been anticipating once they ‘matched’ Previous Etonian Alex with the considerably extra humble Sue Middleton.

‘I’ve by no means seen myself as a posh boy and I nonetheless do not,’ says Alex stoutly. ‘A category divide might exist in different folks’s eyes but it surely does not in mine. All I do know is that the workforce have been very eager to have me and Sue on the identical present. 

‘I had accountancy exams, which meant I needed to alter the date I might seem. They modified Sue’s look to slot in.’

When Alex picked Sue (pictured with Emily, four and Charlie, two in 1998) on ITV's dating show Blind Date in 1988, no one could have anticipated they would forge a life-long relationship

When Alex picked Sue (pictured with Emily, 4 and Charlie, two in 1998) on ITV’s relationship present Blind Date in 1988, nobody might have anticipated they might forge a life-long relationship

Whether or not TV producers sensed grounds for love or loathing, Alex and Sue’s relationship took off like a rocket. Their date was to fly to Shannon for a medieval banquet. 

On the aircraft over, they chatted continuous, quickly discovering how related they have been. Even their birthdays are simply two days aside.

However there was actually no alternative for something intimate, in distinction with modern actuality reveals reminiscent of Love Island the place these items are seemingly inspired. ‘We have been closely chaperoned and our resorts have been 5 miles aside,’ remembers Alex.

‘It was virtually Covid-style social distancing situations. Though the TV researchers with us have been delighted we have been getting on, they did not need any hanky-panky.’

Sue rapidly agrees. ‘It could not have been extra totally different from as we speak’s relationship reveals,’ she says. ‘When Alex is not round to disapprove, I like watching Married At First Sight, which I discover totally addictive.

‘Once I went on Blind Date I used to be a actual celebration woman, wanting to have enjoyable, so I could nicely have been tempted to look on one thing like Love Island — with all that sunshine and good males.

‘However thank heavens I lived in an age when TV wasn’t so intrusive and {couples} weren’t inspired to hate one another.

‘I might be very frightened if both of our youngsters wished to go on a relationship present. It is not simply the tackiness. It is all of the potential for trolling. Life was a lot gentler 30 years in the past.’

Alex and Sue recall how they managed to flee the cameras quickly after that they had flown again from Eire.

‘I took Sue to London Zoo as a result of, because of my diploma in zoology, I might take her behind the scenes on the Chimp Home,’ Alex says. ‘I took her out to dinner that night and that is once we kissed for the first time.’

Though the couple lived 120 miles aside, their relationship developed at whirlwind velocity. Simply three weeks after assembly, Sue — who nonetheless lived on the household residence — launched Alex to her mother and father, Barrie, a headmaster, and Barbara, a civil servant.

Alex and Sue made TV history as the first Blind Date couple to get married. Cilla Black was the guest of honour at their wedding (pictured) in October 1991

 Alex and Sue made TV historical past because the first Blind Date couple to get married. Cilla Black was the visitor of honour at their marriage ceremony (pictured) in October 1991

‘It was a massive second,’ she says. ‘I might had boyfriends earlier than, however I already knew this was severe.

‘Alex is such a charmer and wished to get himself remembered. He turned up with some fluffy slippers within the form of ladybirds. They have been a complete icebreaker. My mother and father roared with laughter. It cemented the jolliness.’

In the meantime, Alex’s mother and father, David, a trademark agent, and Jenefer, an inside designer, hadn’t even heard of Blind Date, not to mention watched the present. They weren’t simply baffled however frightened when he introduced that he had fallen in love along with his date.

‘However then they met Sue and all their worries evaporated,’ says Alex. ‘They might see how nice we’re collectively.’

They courted for three years — spending each weekend collectively both in London or Walsall — earlier than getting married at Sue’s parish church in Pelsall on October 19, 1991.

‘While you lengthy to see somebody once more the second you’ve got mentioned goodbye, you recognize it is actual,’ says Sue.

So sure up in their romance was the nation that 5,000 strangers turned up exterior the church to cheer them on, whereas the televised Blind Date marriage ceremony particular was 1991’s second most watched programme, with 17 million viewers.

‘Even so, it was very a lot our marriage ceremony — us saying our vows,’ insists Sue.

‘Cilla was simply a pretty visitor who occurred to put on a humorous hat and everybody wished to see her.’

Six weeks earlier than the marriage, Sue’s recruitment firm transferred her to London, the place the newlyweds have been to arrange residence in a two-bedroom terrace home within the capital’s South-West.

‘We had a conventional courtship and a conventional marriage ceremony, and we did not reside collectively earlier than we have been married,’ says Alex.

‘Our honeymoon in Mauritius was once we actually first spent any size of time collectively.’

After retraining as a Montessori trainer, Sue labored whereas citing their kids — Emily, who was born in 1994, and her little brother, Charlie who arrived two years later.

In the meantime, Alex moved into the pc business and is now managing director of Westcoast, a main provider of IT merchandise.

How have they built such a successful marriage when there were only two other Blind Date marriages over 18 series? Pictured: Alex and Sue with children Emily and Charlie

How have they constructed such a profitable marriage when there have been solely two different Blind Date marriages over 18 collection? Pictured: Alex and Sue with kids Emily and Charlie

That is a couple who’re decided to make gentle of every thing life throws at them — and admire that they’re fortunate to have privileges many would envy.

Alex has had a stellar profession, and each their kids went to high non-public colleges: Charlie to Eton and Emily to Downe Home in Berkshire. 

House for the previous 20 years has been an imposing double-fronted home inbuilt 1879 in a good space of South London.

‘I do know we’re extremely fortunate,’ says Sue. ‘We have now two fabulous kids whom we like. Emily graduated from Warwick and works in social media. Charlie studied at St Andrews and is now a software program developer. We have now a household Zoom each Sunday.’

However, nevertheless determinedly cheery, no couple can keep away from ache altogether. And the previous few years have been decidedly testing.

Two years in the past, in July 2019, Alex’s father, David, died very out of the blue. He was 82.

‘Dad went into hospital for an operation and by no means awoke,’ says Alex. ‘It was very traumatic, however I felt extremely fortunate to have Sue beside me. It crystalised all that issues in my life. My job is to take care of Mum, Sue and my sister.

‘Then, in January of this yr, it was Alex’s flip to consolation Sue after her dad died, additionally aged 82.’

Sue explains: ‘Dad had Parkinson’s illness for the previous couple of years of his life, which was actually horrid. The terrible factor was that, due to Covid, we weren’t in a position to see him on the finish, which made it even more durable. I miss him each day.’

However, no matter their non-public sorrows, this happiest of {couples} are decided to treasure every thing they’ve.

‘If there’s a secret in any respect it is that we nonetheless love each other like loopy and get that little frisson of pleasure once we see one another,’ says Alex.

‘We have now a kind of doorbells the place you’ll be able to see who’s on the doorstep. It is plugged as much as my cellphone. So very often Sue might be going into the home, I might be at work, and I will shock her by calling out: ‘Hiya, I really like you.’ ‘

‘Life’s by no means boring with Alex round,’ says Sue fondly. ‘I’ve cherished each minute of the previous 30 years with him.

‘I do not suppose anybody would severely advocate happening a relationship present to seek out a husband, but it surely’s positively labored out for us.

‘With out Blind Date, we merely would by no means have met. We’re enormously fortunate.’



Celebrating a 30th anniversary, Blind Date’s first married couple share their formula for happiness Source link Celebrating a 30th anniversary, Blind Date’s first married couple share their formula for happiness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *