West End star Jodie Prenger has told of her “utter elation” at becoming engaged to her boyfriend of two years, businessman Simon Booth - and her sadness at unexpectedly losing her beloved dad Marty less than a fortnight later.
Jodie accepted Simon’s marriage proposal last month. Two days later her father, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer just days before his death, took a turn for the worst. Ten days later, he passed away.
“I’ve never experienced the extremes of emotion that I have in the past weeks,” the 32-year-old I’d Do Anything winner, who’s currently appearing in the hit play One Man, Two Guv’nors, tells HELLO! Magazine.
“I’m just so glad Dad knew I was going to be taken care of.
“Dad loved Simon like a son and always said I’d be safe with him. Simon’s a good man with a good soul, just like my dad.”
The star, who next month will play the legendary Elsie Tanner in the hotly awaited Coronation Street musical Street of Dreams, plans to tie the knot early next year, probably in her and Simon’s hometown of Blackpool.
“I’ve had to kiss a lot of frogs to find my prince. I’ve been out with some horrible fellas,” admits Jodie.
“But, you know, in a way I’m glad I’ve been cheated on, walked over, had stories sold on me because God knows it makes you appreciate The One when he comes along.
“Our wedding is, above all, going to be a joyous occasion – to celebrate what we have in life and to make the most of every minute of it, which is exactly what Dad would have wanted.”
Simon tells HELLO!: “Jodie may live this showbiz life but like a stick of rock she’s Blackpool through and through.”
See the full exclusive interview in HELLO! Magazine, out now.