After being a runner-up on this year's The Apprentice, pretty Helen Milligan received a staggering 110 job offers along with seven marriage proposals from complete strangers. She shunned the job offers, deciding to remain working for Gregg's, and as she exclusively revealed to HELLO!, she has recently accepted the proposal of her dentist boyfriend Christopher Smith. The meticulously planned surprise proposal included a helicopter flight, a stay at a country hotel, private dining and a trip to Venice. Helen also tells HELLO! that filming The Apprentice made her realise that her personal life needed more attention.
"One of the biggest lessons for me was making sure I have a work/life balance," she tells the magazine.She had met Christopher three years earlier and they had dated for a short while, but it was during her time in the house that she realized how much she missed him. She called him four days after filming ended and they got together again.Christopher spent seven months planning his proposal, which started when he gave Helen a postcode to get to.She drove there and found a pilot and helicopter waiting. "I’d won a flying lesson on The Apprentice as a treat and Christopher knew how much I’d loved it," she said. She then had a half hour lesson before she and the pilot flew the helicopter and landed close to Hambleton Hall. "We landed and this lady came out of nowhere with a silver tray and a bellini on it," she recalls.Helen was led into the country hotel where she was taken to a room where a selection of clothes, that Christopher had packed, had been laid out.
There was also a card next to a bottle of her favourite champagne, Dom Perignon Rose. "The card said 'Meet me in the garden at seven. Follow the lights,'" she reveals. Helen did just that and Christopher was waiting in the garden, on bended knee, underneath an oak tree, with a view of Rutland Water behind them."It was beautiful," said Helen. They then enjoyed private dining at Hambleton Hall, before Christopher told her that he was taking her on a trip to Venice. Helen says she’s the "happiest I’ve ever been" and she's pleased that she remained loyal to Gregg's. She says that the other job offers were "based only on what they'd seen of me on TV. "My concern was ‘What happens a year down the line when all the publicity starts to wane?".See the full exclusive article in HELLO! Magazine issue 1200, out now.