IT WAS a romantic gesture – and it was watched by thousands as a Basingstoke man popped the question to his girlfriend of five years on television.
Will Gay organised the surprise proposal to Kirstin Younger at Basingstoke Aquadrome, where a team of synchronised swimmers performed a specially choreographed display for the occasion.
The 28-year-old, who works at the Aquadrome as a contract operations manager, was watched by viewers of BBC3’s Don’t Tell the Bride to Be – The Proposals, preparing the grand proposal without Kirstin finding out.
Helped out by his best mate Adam Dawes and future brother-in-law Kyle Younger, Will arranged for the couple’s family and friends to hide in the changing rooms at the Aquadrome whilst his unsuspecting girlfriend sat by the pool watching the swimming display.
The couple met at the leisure centre 10 years ago, when they were both lifeguards, and when the programme was filmed on January 14, they were expecting their first baby in two weeks.
Kirstin, who used to do synchronised swimming, thought she was popping to the Aquadrome to watch a display before heading out to dinner with a few friends.
But as the performance, choreographed to Bruno Mars ‘I think I Wanna Marry You’ began, her suspicion was aroused as the swimmers started pointing directly at her.
Her boyfriend then appeared dressed in a suit and bow-tie – and 28-year-old Kirstin soon realised this was not a routine evening out.
Will then asked the all-important question to a visibly shocked Kirstin, who kept repeating ‘Oh my God’, but thankfully answered “Oh course, I will.”
Afterwards, Kirstin, an operations manager at Nuffield Health, told The Gazette: “When I saw him coming out, I thought ‘Is this what I think it is?’ It was amazing and I had no idea. The best thing is we can watch it back forever. Words can’t explain how amazing it was.”
Kirstin gave birth to their baby daughter Sophia on February 8, and the couple are planning a summer wedding in July next year.
Will said: “It was difficult to keep the proposal a secret, and I thought at one point she thought I was cheating on her. Throughout the day leading up to it, I was okay but the last 10 seconds before I walked out, I was very emotional and was blubbing my eyes out.”