claireandrobTNNorthumberland Fire and Rescue Service's Claire Smith, Fire Control at Loansdean in Morpeth and her partner Rob Appleby, Crew Manager on the Red Watch at Pegswood Community Fire Station have both been named winners of Real Radio's Bridal Idol Competition 2011.

The couple will now be able to plan their wedding at Linden Hall near Morpeth, sometime within the next year, courtesy of Real Radio, Macdonald Hotels and the Jewellers Guild. 

Claire and Rob will get a wedding planner, and everything from the venue, including the drinks, the photographer, the flowers, the cake, the bridal suite and the cars - all paid for, plus £1,000 to spend on a bespoke set of wedding rings or jewellery.

The competition started when Claire and Rob entered the Real Married Life Quiz at Linden Hall with Gary and Lisa from the Real Radio Breakfast Show - where the six top scoring couples went through to 'Task Week'.

In the grand final Claire and Rob went head to head with one other couple and took it in turns to select one of the ten ring boxes live on the Real Radio Breakfast Show.  Box Number 9 contained an engagement ring, meaning that they had won the final challenge.

Claire said:  "We are absolutely overwhelmed with the support we have received from friends, colleagues and family members.  Winning our dream wedding would not have been possible without this support.  Rob and I would like to get married in September of this year if possible, subject to the availability of venue and suppliers. 

Rob added:  "It certainly was a crazy and challenging time last week, particularly as we kept ending up in the vote-off position and had to rely on text votes to keep us in the competition.  I was over the moon when Claire opened box number 9 and it contained the ring".

Sharon Waite, Fire Control Manager for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said:  "Colleagues at Nothumberland have been frantically voting for Claire and Rob each day in order to keep the pair in the competition, as well as encouraging friends and family members to do likewise.  It goes without saying that everyone is delighted for them."


Posted: 10.12am, 01.04.11