Friday the 13th may be unlucky for some but for Jessica Collins, the daughter of broadcaster Ronan Collins, it was the day her boyfriend Ger Lynch got down on one knee.
Jessica Collins (42) appeared onin 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ireland. Little did she know, as she made her way into The Gibson hotel, Cupid had already been working his magic and she was about to meet her future fiancé.
It was back at “the scene of the crime” on January 13 that Ger Lynch asked Jessica to marry him.
The pair had been planning to go to a comedy gig at the 3Arena when Ger suggested they make a night of it and head to The Gibson for dinner too. Jessica, who works in events management as well as being a stand-up comedian, admits she did not see the proposal coming.
“Unbeknownst to me, he'd already spoken to my dad the week before he proposed so he'd planned everything quite well and then even managed to get me to book the engagement dinner to throw me off,” she says.
“He headed off to the loo and it turned out he was going to talk to the restaurant manager about what he wanted to do. So, with that, he came back, the table was cleared, and champagne was put on the table before I realised that there was a box, and he was on one knee."
She describes it as a “traditional fairytale proposal”.
“It was all very overwhelming and then of course, I cried, and then forgot to agree to say yes and he asked ‘well, are you going to marry me?’ I had to be reminded to answer. And then we just stayed in a little bubble for about an hour before we told anybody. So, he did really well.”
But it took some time for the couple to realise they had something special. After their first date, the pair decided they would give themselves the chance to see how it would go and headed off on a second date to the zoo.
However, they thought they were just great friends. When Jessica moved back in with her parents in Navan in August 2020, Ger was living 20 minutes down the road, and they ended up “being each other's company” throughout lockdown.
“We just looked out for each other. And then I moved in with him in the January and we just became really good roommates,” she says.
“It turned out that everybody thought we were pretty much living the life of a relationship except for us and then one night in November ‘21, there was a night of dancing in the kitchen and then we ended up having a little moment and it's been just the two of us ever since.”
She describes them as being “madly in love” and credits theteam for recognising that they were perfect for one another. They are the second couple to get engaged after meeting on the show, with participants Carla and Shez announcing their engagement in 2021.
“Everything just kind of seemed to click into place, if that makes sense. I hadn't been in a serious relationship for quite some time.... and everything kind of felt very right. Everything just kind of gradually worked itself into what has now become a lovely routine for the two of us.”
While Ger has been welcomed into the family for some time, he has now managed to make it into the family WhatsApp group.
“If you're in the WhatsApp group then you know, you're going to have to take the guff from the in-laws. That's just the way it is. He's doing really well,” says Jessica.
The pair are hoping to tie the knot in summer 2023 but for now, they’re taking it one day at a time.
“We'll look at a couple of venues and then once we have the venue then we're going to figure out numbers but, it's exciting. It's exciting. I never thought I'd see myself buying a wedding dress. I never saw it in my future ever. And now it's really random. Really crazy. Kind of deadly.”