Couple get married - live on radio!

By Mark HeathWHEN David Skate and Dianne Milner began planning their wedding day, they decided to share the special occasion with as many people as they could.

By Mark Heath

WHEN David Skate and Dianne Milner began planning their wedding day, they decided to share the special occasion with as many people as they could.

But, with a potential guest list of more than 1,000 friends and family, the couple realised they would have to come up with a groundbreaking idea to achieve their aim – and they did.

For just after 11am yesterday, they made history by becoming the first couple to get married live on BBC Radio Suffolk, to an audience of about 124,000.


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The pair, who run the Newton Green Natural Health Centre near Sudbury, kept the event a secret from all but their closest family, sending out invitations telling people to make sure they were listening to the radio at the time of the service.

BBC Radio Suffolk played its part, promising its listeners "history in the making" if they tuned in to the station from 10am.

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Speaking just minutes after taking their vows live on the Bob Shelley, Becky Betts and Charles Collins Show, the happy couple said they felt "great".

Dianne added: "It was fantastic and a lot of fun – we all had the giggles, but we got through it." David said: "I didn't feel at all nervous, which surprised me. I would have been nervous had it just been going on the radio, or just getting married, but combining the two seemed to make it better."

The wedding, which took four weeks to plan, was held at the County Hotel in Copdock, near Ipswich, and was taken by registrar Barbara Paternoster.

Dianne said: "We wanted a different wedding and we spoke to Bob about it – it all seemed like a good idea at the time."

David added: "The real reason behind it was that we've got thousands of friends and we couldn't think of a way of involving everybody we wanted to – this just seemed like the perfect solution.

"Bob is one of my patients and we've know each other for a long time, so we got talking and the idea just kind of developed from there.

"The main thing we had to find out was if it could be done, because of course it had never been done before.

"When we told our families about it I don't think anybody believed us at first. They didn't understand it and were asking us how we could get married on the radio. There was a standing joke about what we were going to wear."

And, despite a blunder by Becky – who described David's suit as Velcro instead of Versace – the show was a fantastic success, with tearful listeners ringing in with their congratulations for the couple.

"It was really good. It's been an absolutely wonderful experience and we'll never forget it – hopefully no-one who listened to it will forget it either," said David.

The pair, who will return to work on Tuesday, headed off to party the night away at a reception in Newton Green, while Bob and Becky returned to the studio to complete their show.

Bob said: "This was something completely different for both of us. Neither of us slept a wink the night before and we were really nervous, but the bride and the groom looked so relaxed it was embarrassing.

"It all went off very well and was very exciting – we must thank Barbara, the registrar, and the County Hotel, who were both brilliant."

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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