Celebrity News

Celebrity love special

With love in the air, we asked some of our favourite New Zealanders to share how they keep the romance in their lives

Choreographer, dancer & TV star Candy Lane & husband Chris Jones

For dancing queen Candy, it isn’t Valentine’s Day gestures but musical gifts from her husband Chris that are the most meaningful.

“The most romantic thing was when Chris wrote a song about meeting me only weeks into our relationship,” says Candy. “Also when he sang, Have I Told You Lately when we got married.”

What makes their relationship tick, Candy says, is the way she and Chris have focused on supporting each other in their passions. “Chris has played

in bands, so he understands what show biz is all about,” explains Candy. “He knows I can get approached by strangers when we’re out. Instead of getting jealous he says he’s very proud.”

Shortland Street’s Matthew Chamberlain & wife Rebecca

Despite not being very romantic by nature, when the challenge was set for Matthew, he delivered.

“Years ago, when we had three young children, I moaned to my wife about us not having time together. She said, ‘Organise something,’ followed by, ‘I know you’re not really into romance and all that…’” he says.

“I thought, ‘I am romantic!’ Then I realised she was right.”

With the challenge offered, Matt decided to go all out.

“Dinner? That’s ho-hum. But dinner followed by a night at a hotel? That’s new territory! Two hours later the dinner, hotel and babysitters were organised. The look on her face was priceless.”

Leader of the Opposition, David Shearer & wife Anuschka Meyer

We still have a lot to learn about the new Labour Party leader, but he has revealed a very romantic streak. David says he and his wife exchange flowers on Valentine’s Day, but they both “secretly hope they’re the only one

who remembers”.

His proposal to Anuschka involved flying to Thailand to surprise her while she was travelling through Asia.

“We got married in Bangkok a few days later and went to Burma for our honeymoon. Since then we’ve often travelled long distances and at short notice to be together.”

Sharing ordinary-couple moments is the part of being in a relationship David likes best. “We laugh together a lot and share the same sense of humour. We avoid routines, talk things through, compromise, respect each other and, I think most importantly, we’re best friends.”

Classic Hits radio host Stacey Morrison & Te Karere presenter husband Scotty

Media couple Stacey and Scotty have often been known to make romantic gestures for each other. “Last year I sent Scotty cupcakes at work, thinking he could share them with his workmates,” says Stacey. “Though somehow he managed to keep them all to himself!”

But for his part, Scotty also knows how to come up trumps. “Scotty wrote me a beautiful poem, printed it out and framed it and eventually even put parts of it in a song he helped to write. It still hangs on our bedroom wall and describes dreams that have now come true, such as our wedding and our children,” she says.

The best part of being in love for the couple is the power it has over their life.

“It’s like a force field – it helps you filter unpleasant things in the world a little easier because you get so much love and happiness from that special relationship,” she says.

MP for Auckland’s North Shore Maggie Barry & partner Grant Kerr

The National politician says she and Grant like to mark the special occasion in a way that’s symbolic of their first meeting.

“Grant and I met when we were both doing an Outward Bound course.

It may not seem the most romantic beginning to a relationship, but every year, as well as dinner at a favourite restaurant, we try to do something energetic and challenging in the outdoors.

“Last year we bought each other a six-week boot camp and this year, with Grant training for a trek in Nepal, we’re planning an energetic walk on the Hillary Trail, and a picnic lunch.

“I’ll be in Parliament on Valentine’s Day, so as a couple of pragmatic romantics we’re deferring celebrating until I’m back on the North Shore.”

But the talented gardener admits she’s not averse to a more traditional approach. “As the daughter of a florist and being inordinately fond of flowers, I’m a fan of receiving a bouquet.“

TV star & entrepreneur Suzanne Paul & husband Duncan Wilson

“We don’t go overboard with flowers and chocolates on the day,” says Suzanne of her approach to the day of love. “We try to keep the romance alive by being loving, affectionate and caring with each other. Duncan tells me two or three times a day that he loves me, plus he’ll text me lovely messages, which makes me feel very special.”

Their recipe for staying strong is simple. “We try and look on the bright side and appreciate what we have. If one of us is a bit down, the other will try and lift their spirits and make them smile. Duncan always supports me in whatever I choose to do.”

The Breeze host Alison Leonard & husband John

The former Dancing with the Stars host and her husband John use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to work through Auckland’s best restaurants. But Alison says their most romantic date was on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.

“We had dinner on the beach at sunset with a big pillow and a gazebo, loads of seafood and Champagne – that’s quite hard to beat.”

When it comes to resolving disputes, Alison says there are three simple phrases a man should know – “I’m sorry,” “You were right,” and “I love you.”

Sky Sport commentator Stephen McIvor & wife Maria

Stephen might be New Zealand’s biggest romantic. When trying to woo Maria, now his wife of 14 years, he sent her a dozen red roses every week for eight weeks until he finally got a date.

Unsurprisingly, red roses play a big part in all of their special days. “For one of her birthdays we had a night at a lovely hotel. I put 60 roses in the room and petals all over the floor,” he says.

In keeping with tradition, Stephen says he’ll celebrate this Valentine’s Day with more roses.

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