Anthea Turner had blind date with fiancé Mark SEVEN WEEKS ago’

Anthea Turner EXCLUSIVE: Star, 59, was set up on a blind date with fiancé Mark Armstrong by best friend Lizzie Cundy just SEVEN WEEKS ago… as she admits she’s ‘bursting with happiness’ following proposal in Rome

  • The star, 59, confirmed her engagement on Sunday after enjoying a whirlwind relationship with businessman Mark Armstrong, 55
  • Her best friend Lizzie Cundy set them up on a blind date two months ago 
  • Despite being nervous to meet face-to-face, the connection was instant
  • Mark popped the question during a romantic trip to Rome 

Anthea Turner was set up on a blind date with her fiancé Mark Armstrong just seven weeks ago.

The presenter, 59, confirmed her engagement on Sunday after enjoying a whirlwind relationship with businessman Mark Armstrong, 55, who has swept her off her feet with a romantic proposal in Rome.

It has now emerged the pair were set up by her best friend Lizzie Cundy almost two months ago – and despite being nervous to meet face-to-face, the connection was instant.

Whirlwind romance: Anthea Turner was set up on a blind date with her fiancé Mark Armstrong just seven weeks ago

Lizzie told MailOnline: ‘Mark is smitten. He’s a very funny, jolly guy from a very rich Italian family.’ 

Anthea shared a collage of snaps from their romantic getaway, confessing Mark has taken her ‘breath away’ and she is ‘bursting with happiness’ after the engagement.

She posted on Facebook: ‘Our Roman adventure continues…. Happy Birthday today Mark Armstrong.

‘It’s a total joy to be with you, especially as I was able to call Scala Radio ‘Sunday Brunch’ (where I should be) live from The Vatican and share with listeners and my, brother from another mother, Chris Rogers the news we’re getting married.

Match made in heaven: Despite being nervous to meet face-to-face, the connection was instant when Lizzie (pictured right) introduced them 

Chemistry: Since meeting almost two months ago, the duo have been inseparable 

Overjoyed: The presenter, 59, confirmed her engagement on Sunday after enjoying a whirlwind relationship with businessman Mark Armstrong, 55, who has swept her off her feet with a romantic proposal in Rome

Cute: The couple look head-over-heels for each other in the collage of pictures from their romantic Italian getaway

‘When you know, you know….. (Thank you Lawrence Whitaker for that ) Mr A you’ve taken my breath away, love you so much bursting with happiness.

‘You’re a total unique bag of thoughts, passion, emotion and love. “Always the Sun” & thank you Lizzie Cundy my lucky charm for everything.’

The couple look head-over-heels for each other in the collage of pictures from their romantic Italian getaway. 

 The happy news comes seven years on from her split from ex-husband Grant Bovey in 2013 – after he cheated on her with a woman half her age.

Happy couple: ‘You’re a total unique bag of thoughts, passion, emotion and love’, she said

Anthea reportedly moved on from her doomed marriage earlier this year by embarking on a new romance with business tycoon Mark.

An insider said: It’s a very happy time.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Anthea for comment.

According to reports earlier this month, the TV personality is ‘smitten’ with her new man.

The Sun On Sunday reported that the ex-GMTV star met Mark at private members club in March, with the two hitting it off straight away. 

Overjoyed: The TV personality is said to be ‘smitten’ with business tycoon Mark

A source previously said: ‘She met Mark at London’s Wellington club and they hit it off straight away. He’s half-Italian, very charismatic and good looking – plus a few years younger’

A source told the publication: ‘Anthea has had a rocky few years, and had almost given up on finding love again.

‘But she met Mark at London’s Wellington club and they hit it off straight away. He’s half-Italian, very charismatic and good looking – plus a few years younger, which is a boon.

‘He fancied her straight away and they swapped details – Mark immediately asked her out, and it went from there.’

 Moving on: The happy news comes seven years after her split from ex-husband Grant Bovey in 2013 after he cheated on her with a woman half her age (pictured in 2012)

They added that while it’s ‘early days’, the couple are ‘smitten’ with each other, with Mark thinking they have a ‘future’ together. 

In May this year, Anthea told how she hasn’t given up on love and is looking for a man to share ‘great sex’ with following the ‘tough’ divorce. 

Speaking to Best magazine, she said: ‘Getting divorced from [ex-husband] Grant [Bovey] was very, very tough. But I have not given up on love’.

‘I am dating, I am holding auditions. It sounds very Whitney Houston, but you have to make yourself the greatest love – learn to accept yourself, and then you can bring someone else into your life.’

‘I don’t need someone to have kids with or help me buy a house. But I do want someone who’s got my back, to moan with, laugh with, to have adventures and great sex with. And I know that person will come into my life.’ 

Dating again: According to the Sun On Sunday, the star met Mark at private members club in March, with the two hitting it off straight away

Anthea’s newfound happiness comes after she was left heartbroken as her relationship with ex Grant broke down.

Anthea and Grant married in 2000 after first meeting in 1998, with them both leaving their respective partners.

They first split in 2012 and briefly reconciled before separating for good in 2013, and were divorced in 2015 on the grounds of his adultery.

The marriage ended after she discovered that Grant, then 52, was having an affair with interior designer Zoe de Mallet Morgan – 24 at the time. 

Over him: In May this year, Anthea told how she hasn’t given up on love and is looking for a man to share ‘great sex’ with following the ‘tough’ divorce (pictured with Grant in 2008)

In the her therapeutic book, How To Survive Divorce, she describes how she read his text messages, checked his sat-nav and even tracked his bike rides in order to expose his lies.

Her discovery came less than a year after she had forgiven him for an indiscretion with another woman.

The bubbly broadcaster gave advice in her book about seeking help from a therapist, after feeling that she was somehow to blame for the marriage ending. 

The former Blue Peter presenter appeared on  Channel 5’s In Therapy in 2017 where she spoke about the heart-wrenching moment she discovered her husband was having an affair with a woman half her age.

Overcome with emotion, she said: ‘What happened was the flag went up and I found out what was really going on and I was an emotional mess – a wreck – and we decided not to throw it all away.’

‘My goodness me, I thought we had done absolutely everything to look at this, to put it right, hours and hours of conversations.

‘Nobody tried harder to save their marriage, I know I did my best.’

Anthea then admitted that she didn’t realise her husband was still continuing the affair behind her back: ‘What I didn’t realise was that Grant was doing slight of hand.’

She heartbreakingly admitted: ‘I think it was worse the second time.’ 

Heartbroken: The marriage ended after she discovered that Grant, then 52, was having an affair with interior designer Zoe de Mallet Morgan – 24 at the time

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