LOVE blossomed and the red carpet beckoned when one personal fitness trainer took on a soap star client.
Ben Stacey has set up home with Holby City star Rosie Marcel following their whirlwind romance that began with him giving her a free session in Berkhamsted 18 months ago.
The couple have now been officially dating for eight months.
The self employed trainer met Rosie in the high street gym and started working out with her on a regular basis using tough functional training methods that involved her throwing sandbags and doing chin ups with Olympic rings.
He said: “She works really hard and that’s really attractive to me. She doesn’t give up easily and really pushes hard.”
The 29-year-old got on so well with the 35-year-old actress, who plays spiky doctor Jac Naylor, that he plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date.
They had already been papped on the red carpet when they went out as friends to last year’s Children’s Champion Awards in London where Ben rubbed shoulders with the likes of Simon Cowell and Davina McCall.
Ben said: “I just felt that the time was right and I was quietly confident.
“I did question it all the way up to the moment I asked her. I could have been rejected, lost her as a client and she could have been offended,” he revealed.
Ben said that he was ‘super happy’ when Rosie agreed to go out on a date with him.
He took her to dinner at Thai Square in St Albans where they also enjoyed a few lychee martinis.
A few months ago when the lease on the flat Ben was renting in Berkhamsted was up the lovers took the decision to live together and Ben moved in with Rosie and her basset hound Eric.
Ben said: “It wasn’t like a massive decision, it just felt right and it has been so easy living together. We work really well together.”
After a while Rosie’s fellow actors at Holby City started to enquire why she was looking in such great shape and she told them about Ben and his company The Fitness Society.
He has since cemented his reputation as a personal trainer to the stars by taking on Chizzy Akudolu, who plays registrar Mo Effanga and Michael Thompson, who plays nurse Jonny Maconie.
Ben grew up in Watford, attended Francis Combe School before moving to Piccotts End and playing basketball for Hemel Storm.
He spent many years working in IT in America before he qualified as a personal trainer and came back to England to set up his business just six months before he met Rosie.
He said: “If someone has said to me two years ago that I would have a soap star girlfriend and would be escorting her to red carpet events I would have said ‘you are joking’.
“I really didn’t see it coming. It must have been fate.”