ROMANCE came to York Theatre Royal when one member of the audience chose the theatre’s famous pantomime as the perfect place to pop the question.

Ian Watson, 47, joined panto dame Berwick Kaler on stage to propose to his girlfriend of seven years, Caroline Gibson.

“She said yes, thank God,” Ian said later.

“She was absolutely gobsmacked.

“She had no idea whatsoever what I was going to do, but I think she has got over the shock now.”

Ian and Caroline, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, came to York with four friends to celebrate Caroline’s birthday on Sunday and booked tickets to Aladdin And The Twankeys yesterday afternoon.

Ian said: “One of our friends suggested going to the panto, and I started thinking this would be a unique place to propose.”

He had contacted the theatre to make plans but in the hours before the performance, admitted to feeling nervous.

“I bought the ring a couple of weeks ago and have checked it about 50 times today,” he said.

After Berwick read out the traditional birthday greetings towards the end of the show, he called Caroline and Ian on stage, after reading out Ian’s email, in which Ian said he wanted to make an honest woman of Caroline. With the ring in his hand, Ian then got down on one knee to pop the question.

The couple first met at a singles club in Melton Mowbray.

Ian said: “Caroline’s a really hard-working, straightforward girl, and I like that.

“She’s got a lot of integrity and honesty, but I think after how secretive I have been over these last few weeks, she was starting to get suspicious.”