Vicki and Dan, and Dan as Gary Barlow
Vicki and Dan, and Dan posing as Gary Barlow
I had been single for two years, but there was only one man to relight my fire… 
By Vicki Gaiger, 25, from Herne Bay in Kent

Putting my feet up in the living room, I heard my phone beep from the coffee table.

It was my friend Katie, badgering me again about this silly gig she wanted to go to.

Last chance for tickets, she’d texted.

My mates had been planning a night out to a Take That tribute show for weeks.

But to be honest, I just wasn’t that interested.

I loved Take That when I was younger but I hadn’t really followed the band for years.

Still, I hated to miss on a good night out.

Oh go on then, I replied.

Just a few days later I was all dressed up and heading out to Kings Hall, our local music venue in Herne Bay.

First things first, we grabbed some drinks. At least it would be a laugh!

Rule the World band
Dan and his band Rule the World

But then when the band, Rule The World, walked out on stage, I was glad I’d put my dancing shoes on.

“The Gary Barlow’s gorgeous!” I squealed, grabbing Katie’s arm.

I’d had a crush on Gary since he joined the X Factor as a judge.

This bloke had an uncanny resemblance to the real deal, but somehow he was even better looking.

By the second half of the gig, I’d dragged my mates down to the front to dance.

“Let’s go and get a closer look at your Gary,” Katie had joked.

She’d rumbled me.

I’d been single for two years, but this guy was definitely the one to relight my fire.

I kept throwing ‘Gary’ flirty glances.

I was sure he was too wrapped up in his performance to even notice me though.

After their set finished I snuck outside for a bit of fresh air, and I felt my phone buzz in my pocket.

It was my sister, Kayleigh, who’d joined us on our night out.

“Quick, Gary Barlow’s packing his stuff up,” she’d written.

My heart was racing as I strolled back into the venue, pretending I wanted to talk to my sister.

“Now’s your chance, talk to him!” she hissed in my ear.

But then he beckoned me over. My heart leapt!

“I’m Dan, did you enjoy the show?” he introduced himself.

We had a quick chat, but he had to rush off with the rest of the band.

I dashed back over to my friends.

“Oh is Gary gone?” they teased.

“Yes… but he asked for my number!” I said, unable to stop a grin spreading across my face.

Within hours he’d messaged me. There was an amazing attraction between us.

As my friends carried on the party elsewhere, I sat on the sidelines chatting to Dan about anything and everything.

Could it be magic?

But then he dropped a bombshell…

“I actually live in Manchester,” he admitted.

My heart sunk, I’d assumed he was local.

Vicki and Dan
Vicki and Dan

Was our love song over before it had even begun?

As the weeks went on I couldn’t stop thinking about Dan, despite the huge 300 mile distance between us.

I kept reminding myself to be sensible, that we barely knew each other.

But as Gary himself sings, it only takes a minute to fall in love!

“… and this is my bedroom…” I told Dan, giving him a Facetime tour of my home.

If we couldn’t meet up, video chats were the next best thing.

I’d just have to have a little patience.

Then, a few weeks after we’d met, Dan packed his bags and came down to visit.

I had so much fun showing him the local area, and introducing him to all my family and friends.

It was like we’d known each other for months.

From that day on, Dan never went home again.

It might sound hasty, but I knew he was the one.

We moved in together and only grew closer, despite Dan travelling all over the country for Rule The World gigs.

Then on New Year’s Eve he had a show booked in.

I decided I’d go to cheer him on with my mum and her partner, and his parents decided to join us too.

We set off to Wales, excited to see in our first New Year’s Eve together.

There was a hairy moment when it didn’t look like we were going to make it though.

Dan’s dodgy sense of direction got us hopelessly lost!

“Just let me concentrate,” Dan hushed me, as we bickered.

We made it in the nick of time though.

As usual, the show was fantastic. Then Dan stepped forward to the front of the stage for a solo.

“This one’s for my beautiful girlfriend Vicki,” he said.

My cheeks flushed with embarrassment as the audience turned to look.

I thought he was trying to apologise for our little tiff on the way to the gig. Just a simple ‘sorry’ would have been enough.

He started crooning A Million Love Songs, making his way down from the stage towards me.

I was dancing along, but then when Dan reached into his pocket I knew something was up.

I glanced at my mum in shock, and she just beamed at me.

That’s when Dan got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.

All I could do was tearfully nod.

It was the greatest day of our lives, and thankfully my mum’s partner caught the whole thing on film.

We’re hoping to get married next year, but if we can get the real Gary to sing at our wedding we’ll bring it forward.

He’s announced on Twitter that he’ll sing at five weddings in 2015, and we’re desperate for one to be ours.

But even if that doesn’t happen, I’m still over the moon to be marrying my very own Gary Barlow.

Vicki's story in Real People magazine
Vicki’s story in Real People magazine

Dan, 32, said: “It sounds cheesy but I knew the moment I met Vicki that I’d marry her.

“We talked about marriage quite early on in our relationship, but we always said we wanted to live together for a year before we got engaged.

“I wanted to surprise Vicki when she wasn’t expecting it though. I knew if I waited the full year, she’d know it was coming.

“I’d been planning the proposal since August. I’d been working away a lot and I honestly felt like part of me was missing – and that was Vicki.

“New Year seemed like the perfect time to ask, after I’d asked her Dad’s permission of course.

“I’ve been performing for ten years now, and I’ve sung in some of the most prestigious venues in the world.

“I have to say that I’ve never come close to feeling as nervous as I was on New Year’s Eve.

“I just hoped my plan wouldn’t backfire, as there were so many people there to witness it.

“Thankfully she said yes, and it was such a great feeling to start the new year with the woman I love as my fiance.

“I’m a very lucky man to have Vicki.”

As told to Helen O’Brien Google

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