Tradition would have it that February 29 is the one day in the calendar when women can ask men to marry them.
The legend of “The Ladies’ Privilege”, as it was known then, originated in the fifth Century with an Irish nun known as St. Brigid. It is said that she complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose.
They struck a deal as a result and he decreed that this one day in February, which occurs once every four years, would be when women were allowed to propose.
With that special day rapidly approaching, the Tele spoke to Christine Kirk, from Glenrothes.
The competition was offering £2,500 of jewellery – as long as the winner was willing to ask for their partner’s hand in marriage live on television on February 29.
Christine, who was living in Broughty Ferry at the time, said: “It was always my intention [to propose to him]. I had to write a 1,000-word essay which my friend, who had originally spotted the competition, helped me write and send in.
“On the Thursday I was at work and I got a call telling me that I had won. They gave me just 24 hours notice. I was actually moving in with Alan and had told him that we were going out for a meal that night.
“When they arrived at 1pm, he was moving our stuff in a van down to Fife but they said to me ‘you need to get him back here now’.”
In an attempt to get him to turn his vehicle around and make the journey back to Dundee, 39-year-old Christine, who works for the police, had to tell Alan a white lie.
She said: “He was fuming mad, he couldn’t believe that I was asking him to come back up the road. When he came in he was wearing a fleece and a baseball cap – and then the camera crew jumped out.
“They did an interview with him afterwards and he’d said he was sure that I was going to ask him the big question at dinner. I had been winding him up for a while and, to be honest, I was getting fed up of waiting for him to ask me.
“I’d been with him for four years, but he thinks about everything for ages so I thought it was going to take forever for him to actually do anything. If I’d not done it then, I’d probably still be waiting now. I thought, ‘if you don’t know by now then you are never going to know.’
“Afterwards, he asked me what I would have done if he’d said no. I told him: ‘if you had said no I was going to tell you to bring all my furniture back to the flat and I’d just take out another lease’.”
Fortunately Alan, who is a structural engineer for BA Systems, accepted the proposal and the happy couple tied the knot in 2009 at what was then the Swallow Hotel Dundee on Kingsway West.
Reflecting on her decision to pop the question live on air, Christine said: “I still can’t believe I did the telly thing, but I didn’t have time to think about it, worry, or process it so it meant that I was running on adrenaline. Plus, I was confident he would have said yes for the cameras.
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“I did have to check after the crew had left. I said, ‘did you mean what you said?’ But, of course, he meant it.
“My advice to anyone who has thought about doing something like this is to just to do it. You shouldn’t wait for the man to ask you. That’s such an old-fashioned way of thinking and it’s far better to find out sooner rather than later.”