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Journalists to wed after surprise proposal in regional daily

Two journalists are set to marry after one proposed to the other in a regional daily – although the gesture prompted the shocked bride-to-be to question why her new fiancé had used a rival publisher’s title to pop the question.

Former Essex Chronicle journalist Sam Balls ran an advert in the personal announcements section of York daily The Press while visiting the city with Cambridge News digital editor Libby McBride.

The trip to York had been a surprise birthday present from 27-year-old Sam to his 26-year-old partner.

But after placing the ad, Sam, who is about to start a new public relations role with property website Rightmove, admitted he almost forgot to pick up a copy of The Press last Friday to present to his bride-to-be.

Sam and Libby in York

Sam and Libby in York

Sam told The Press: “We had been to the USA in September for Libby’s birthday and I’d got us tickets to see Drake in Miami, but he cancelled, so I owed her a birthday present.

“We wanted to go to York so thought ‘brilliant, that’s a surprise trip’. I thought it felt like the right time to pop the question as well, so I got a ring and the journalist in me wanted to make it a bit special so I put an announcement in Friday’s paper.”

He added: “I planned to do it just before dinner. We were walking round the Minster and I lost my bottle a bit, but they were going to lock the grounds up. I thought ‘it’s now or never’, so I gave Libby the paper and told her the clue to her birthday present was on page 40, then as she looked at it, I got down on one knee.”

So shocked was Libby that she responded to her new fiancé asking why he had decided to publish the proposal in a Newsquest title when they had both worked for Reach plc-owned publications.

Of her late birthday surprise, Libby said: “The only thing I wanted was a pair of trainers. He hadn’t told me where we were going for dinner, so I thought there might be an advert for the place we were going to dinner on page 40.

“When I saw it on saw he was on his knee I think I just covered my face with the paper. I was so shocked and I’m told my first sentence to Sam was ‘why did you put it in one of our rivals?'”


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  • October 29, 2018 at 9:49 am

    And why did he? That’s the question not answered here.

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  • October 29, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    all the best to them in their life together. that’s the only story that matters.

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