Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke and his fiancé Gareth Locke have posed for their first ever photoshoot together in HELLO! magazine. In an exclusive interview to accompany the shoot, the couple reveal how Gareth popped the question to Ollie late last month. Ollie told HELLO! in October 2018: "We decided to go for a lovely walk with Bear in Kensington Park Gardens which is my favourite park and we came across the Peter Pan statue, which is my favourite statue. I walked towards Gareth who was just standing there and he gave me a hug…" Gareth continued: "I was 200 yards away and I was thinking 'I have got to do this now'."
Although the timing of the proposal surprised Ollie, the couple had already discussed getting married and had even placed an order for bespoke engagement rings with society jeweller Theo Fennell at his Chelsea store. "I wanted to propose with the rings," explained Gareth. "We knew we wanted to get engaged and I asked Ollie if he knew where he would propose. He didn't but I did. So he was like: 'Right, I will leave it up to you.'"
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The couple are now planning their wedding in Italy next September, with a formal marriage ceremony taking place beforehand at Chelsea Old Town Hall. They are both set on walking up the aisle in black tie - and the guest list is taking shape. "From The Island with Bear Grylls, Thom Evans will be coming, and from Made in Chelsea there will be Toff [Georgia Toffolo], Binky [Felstead] and Louise Thompson," Ollie revealed. "Richard Dinan and Binky will be in the wedding party. It won't be a traditional wedding. It's going to be entertaining and more of a party." The pair plan to join their surnames together. "We are going to be Locke-Locke," smiled Ollie. "I like the idea that his family and my family will be joined together."
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The pair first met ten years ago when they were both modelling at a fashion show for designer Jade Holland Cooper, for whose company Gareth is now commercial director. After striking up a casual friendship they kept in touch via mutual friends before spending a weekend together earlier this year at the marital home of Jade and her husband, Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton. "We were sat in front of a fire for two hours and I realised that things had changed between us," recalled Ollie. "I thought Gareth was The One very early on. I was pretty sure this was something that would be for the rest of my life."
Ollie Locke and Gareth Locke are engaged
A day after they parted, Gareth pretended he had to go to London to see his brother so he could take Ollie on a date. And that was that. The fact that they had known each other for so long helped things move fast. "You don't have to do that thing where you meet each other's friends and check out each other's background, as we already knew all those kind of things," said Gareth. "It made it organically move a lot quicker. "We were both in different places in our lives when we first met, but I definitely think it came at the right time and if it came any earlier I think it would probably have been very different."
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Ollie has always been candid about his emotional life. When he first joined Made in Chelsea he identified as a straight man and discussed his quest to find true love. He then announced he was bisexual, before finally revealing that he was living life as a gay man. He has no regrets about any of it. "I have put my life on camera for the best part of a decade. I got a lot of backlash about calling myself bisexual, but there is no word to describe liking both genders without saying bisexuality, even if it is a transition into another sexuality," he said. "There are no regrets, though, as I know how many messages I have got over the years about how I have affected people’s lives in the positive."
Both Ollie and Gareth have been touched by the outpouring of public support since announcing their engagement. Ollie, who in November will release the first of a trilogy of fantasy novels he has written, The Islands of Fandye, continued: "What is extraordinary is that we haven't had one negative comment – on social media or in the newspapers – which is phenomenal. We have enormous support behind us. I think people have seen my journey and finally see the happily-ever-after that they always backed me to have."
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