The story behind the marriage proposal at Coldplay’s Newcastle gig

To propose marriage on a stage in front of 1,000 people, with one of the biggest bands in the world behind you is something dreams are made of. It took a month to organise, but for one lucky couple this dream came true, the BBC writes tonight. On 20 December, Coldplay’s Chris Martin called up Simon Bignell and Ruth Farmer on stage during their charity gig at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre. Unaware of what was happening, Ruth saw her husband-to-be get down on one knee and propose…she said: “Yes”. Watch the video of the marriage proposal at the Coldplay forum now [thanks Bonus_mosher & maria_shiver]

Coldplay chose to perform at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre in one of only two UK dates in 2010 to raise money for the homeless charity Crisis. The audience was made up of 1,000 fans who were lucky enough to buy tickets or win them in a charity auction. Andrew and Ruth travelled more than 350 miles from Poole in Dorset through the snow and bad weather to see their idols that night.


As Coldplay finished the main part of their set Andrew and Ruth were taken to the side of the stage. Ruth was told that she had won a competition to watch the last two songs from that privileged position. And then the unexpected happened. The pair were called on stage. Simon sat Ruth down on Chris Martin’s piano stool and nervously popped the question in front of the band and 1,000 other onlookers.

Ruth said she was totally taken by surprise: “I knew it was going to be a special night…but I had no idea that he was going to propose to me. It wasn’t until Chris called Simon on and said he ‘wants to ask someone a question’ and I was like ‘oh my goodness’ and it was like a dream, it was so surreal.”

And Simon picked his words well. Ruth explained: “He said he couldn’t imagine his life without me, which is so touching and when he got the ring out, I couldn’t believe it! The ring is beautiful, I think I was already crying by that point and I managed to squeak out a ‘yes’ and gave him a big hug… I’m very happy and I can’t stop smiling.”

Simon first pitched the idea to the charity’s events organiser a month before the gig was due to take place and wasn’t sure how the idea would go down with the band. The original plan was to ask Ruth in a room behind the scenes with the band present but Chris Martin and the rest of the band had a better idea. Simon said: “It was only on the evening that the band’s management spoke to the band and they decided they were going to do it on a much bigger scale… I couldn’t possibly turn that idea down. And she said ‘yes!’ The whole thing was wonderful, the crowd were behind us. “Coldplay are very close to our hearts and it was really kind of them to be behind it.”

The couple are now celebrating with a bottle of champagne that they were given and thinking about how they can incorporate Coldplay in to their big day. Ruth said: “If we can get Chris Martin to come and play that would be Simon’s dream, but I don’t think he does weddings!”

More photos of Coldplay’s Crisis gig at Tyne Theatre, Newcastle (20th December 2010):

Pictures by D Nuttell @ Flickr