Congratulations Dan Osborne and Jacqueline Jossa! I know you both know how lucky you are…

Bizarrely, it appears to be a formula that works. Hunky reality TV star meets top actress, falls in love and lives happily ever after.

Just like his Essex boy counterpart Mark Wright, who recently married actress Michelle Keegan, Dan Osborne has bagged himself one of TV’s biggest and most beautiful young stars, 22-year-old soap pin-up Jacqueline Jossa, aka Lauren Branning from EastEnders.

Not bad for a ‘nobody’ from Essex who found fame on a hit reality TV show (thanks to his bulging biceps, collection of tattoos and a six-pack you could grate cheese on). But maybe that’s why it works? They’re both really successful in their own right and not competing for each other’s airtime. And despite being popular celebrities, both Dan and Jac are two of the most lovely, down-to-earth celebs I’ve met in my ten years as a journalist, who would much rather spend a night in front of the telly in their pj’s than at a boozy showbiz party. A mean feat for anyone with access to a free bar every night!

Yesterday, in a Now world exclusive, we revealed how at the end of their first family holiday in Greece, Dan popped the question and Jacqueline said ‘Yes.’

A source confirmed to Now that: ‘Yes, it’s true. Dan and Jacqueline are engaged and they’re both over the moon. Dan has been planning this special moment for months, Jacqueline is the girl of his dreams and he can’t believe what a lucky man he is. They will marry next year.’

And then a couple of hours later the happy couple confirmed the news to their fans, with Dan Tweeting…

And I couldn’t be happier for them both.

I’ve known Dan for two years ever since he first joined the cast of The Only Way Is Essex and we met when I did his first ever interview in a hotel in Marbella.

Shy, unassuming and ahem… drop-dead gorgeous, Dan was like a breath of fresh air in the stagnant showbiz world. I could tell that he couldn’t believe his luck. He seemed almost bemused that he’d been plucked from obscurity – one minute he was working in a tattoo parlour in Essex and the next he was sitting in a plush hotel in Marbella talking to some journalist about which of the TOWIE girls he fancied most.

He didn’t have any celebrity friends, let alone a famous partner, and suddenly he was on one of ITV’s biggest shows being paid to take his top off and enjoy the perks of being a single man on TV. So obviously Dan did what any normal bloke with a license to thrill would do – kissed as many girls as he could and fast became one of the UK’s hottest hunks.

First he set his sights on former TOWIE sex-bomb Lucy Mecklenburgh, who was parading around in that white bikini trying to make her ex, Mario Falcone, jealous. And yes, he did…

There was a kiss with his friend Jasmin Walia on his first night in Marbs, who was left devastated when Dan told her he just wanted to stay friends, then he enjoyed a brief fling on TV with Lucy, until he discovered that back home in the real world, his ex-girlfriend Megan Tomlin, was pregnant with his son, Teddy, now 17 months old. But behind-the-scenes Dan had secretly already met his now-fiance, Jacqueline, and love was quietly blossoming. After he met Jac, he never looked back…

Last year during an interview with me in May, after dating for just seven months, Dan already knew Jacqueline was ‘the one,’ admitting: ‘She’s absolutely incredible. Watch this space! I respect her a lot. I like the girl, so I don’t want to ruin it.’

His eyes would light up when he spoke about her and the mere mention of her name would bring an instant smile to his face, Dan was positively beaming with love and the pair became inseparable. Dan quit partying with pals, preferring to stay indoors with Jacqueline and his son Teddy, and it wasn’t long before the couple moved in together and started a family of their own, welcoming baby Ella to the world just three months ago.

Dan’s always been a family man, so it was devastating to see him so distraught when he was accused of being a thug when shocking tapes emerged of him verbally abusing his ex. Two months ago, Dan broke down in tears to me twice when I asked him if he was ever afraid he would lose Jacqueline. But  Jacqueline proved she was wife material when she became his rock and stuck by him through it all. Wiping away the tears, Dan spoke lovingly of her and how her support had helped him cope during the worst time of his life.

‘More than anything, I’m sorry to Jacqueline. She’s put up with so much but supported me through everything. I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to her,’ Dan told me.

And despite going through so much already, it seems it’s only made this loved-up pair even stronger. Young, rich, hot and successful, this celebrity couple already had it all, but it goes to prove just how solid they are as a couple knowing that they can ride the rough with the smooth and stick by each other even through the hardest times. Now they’re engaged to be married, Dan, and his beautiful new fiancé Jacqueline, have the world at their feet. Some people spend a lifetime looking for love and never find it, but the most wonderful thing of all is that this isn’t some ridiculous showmance, not only are they both truly besotted and devoted to each other, I know they both know exactly how lucky they are and now they have only have a lifetime of happiness to look forward to.

Congratulations Dan and Jac!

Amy Brookbanks