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George Armitage and Ollie Saunders posing for a picture in Times Square

George Armitage and Ollie Saunders posing for a picture in Times Square

STEVE CANAVAN: A real cliffhanger in the Lakes

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George Armitage proposed to Ollie Saunders on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Southsea couple celebrated their engagement with a whirlwind tour of New York.

Banker George, 22, first had the idea of proposing there when they booked their holiday, and told Ollie’s parents Anne, 51, and Mark, 54, over Facetime.

The lock engraved by Ollie's dad Mark that the couple attached to the Brooklyn Bridge.

The lock engraved by Ollie's dad Mark that the couple attached to the Brooklyn Bridge.

‘Ollie’s mum cried when I told her, and I’m convinced it is because she is stuck with me now,’ says George.

Mark had a padlock engraved with the couple’s names on which they could attach to the bridge after the proposal. But at first, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

‘We were shivering and our bags kept getting blown around by the wind, and because there was a freeway underneath us there was so much noise as trucks went past,’ says George.

‘I had a big speech planned but I got too nervous so I shoved a ring in his hand. For the first time in my life I had nothing to say.’

‘There are usually thousands of padlocks on the bridge but they were painting it and had cut lots of them off,’ says Ollie, 20. ‘When we go back in August we want to see if it is still there.’

After the initial nerves, everything went swimmingly.

‘It was just us with the beauty of the city in the background. It was like having a really private moment in such a busy place,’ says Ollie.

‘It was romantic in the end because it didn’t have all the cliches you see in the films,’ George adds.

After Ollie said yes, the pair went to Italian restaurant Joanne’s, owned by Lady Gaga, and had their first meal as an engaged couple.

A holiday highlight was seeing If Then on Broadway. They met star Idina Menzel – the voice of Frozen’s Elsa – at the stage door.

‘When she gave us her autograph we told her we want our first dance to be to her song No Day But Today. She said congratulations and that she was so honoured,’ says George. ‘We were on such a high that night,’ says Ollie.

They also bought each other rings in Tiffany’s department store – titanium for George and silver for Ollie.

‘We watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s on our second date, so it was the perfect place to get the rings. But we didn’t have breakfast – they don’t actually sell it,’ says Ollie.

The couple plan to get married in 2017 and will have a engagement party with family and friends.

One of their favourite presents was a print of the co-ordinates where they got engaged. It was bought by George’s mum Debbie, 50, auntie Denise, 49, and cousin Claire, 24.

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