Anthea Turner on turning 60, finding love with fiancé Mark Armstrong and their wedding plans

The pair had hoped to marry this year

Ahead of her 60th birthday, Anthea Turner has given an exclusive interview to HELLO! magazine and is photographed for the first time with her fiancé, businessman Mark Armstrong. "Mark is the absolute love of my life, we adore each other. He makes me smile every day and we are excited about our life together," Anthea tells the magazine as she reveals they had planned a trip to Rome for her birthday on 25 May, the city where Mark proposed last year and where they were due to marry this September.

She is feeling positive about turning 60: "I think 60 is more of a milestone birthday than turning 50. We'd like to think it's not as we live in an ageless society, but it truly is. Do I feel any different? No, I don't feel any different to when I was 50, not at all."

Anthea had planned a trip to Rome fo her 60th

Asked if there is a decade of her life she would like to revisit, Anthea, who has been married twice before, tells HELLO!: "I'm not a big one for raking over the past, I absolutely live for now. I never wish I could go back to a time in my past." Of her relationship with Mark which moved at whirlwind speed - he proposed two months after their first date – she says: "It sounds very quick. Of course, it does. But sometimes, when you are a bit older and you have lived, something tells you this is so right, you just know."

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She accepts that, "People might say why do you have to get married, or why would you want to. It is because I do believe in marriage, and I can't think of a nicer person to be with for the rest of my life. I've always said I would get married again, I knew I would meet someone, that I would not be on my own. I definitely never put up the shutters to finding love again, with 'keep away' tattoed on my forehead."

"I knew I would meet someone, that I would not be on my own," said Anthea

Of postponing their wedding plans, she tells HELLO! "Mark and I had planned to go out and look at venues in March and then set a date for September. Mark is from Italy, his family are from Milan, so it seemed the perfect place for us. It will be next year now. I am not even in any angst about it. When we do it, it will be small and cute, just with our close friends and family."

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Her thoughts are with her friend Kate Garraway whose husband is still in intensive care, and for all of those struggling. "I am blessed to be with Mark but I am mindful of all those in hospital and others who have lost jobs. I am not sure what 'normal' is going to be when we all come back from this, but it won't be a big fanfare, I think we will all find pleasure in just a quiet supper with friends."

Read the full interview in HELLO! magazine out on Monday.

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