We invited I'm A Celeb’s Nick Pickard to our wedding – we were floored when he arrived and was the last to leave | The Sun

SOAP super-fan Claire Arkell received the best wedding present ever when ‘Tony from Hollyoaks’ turned up as a surprise guest on her big day – despite never having met the happy couple.

Claire, 41, who has watched every single episode of the teen soap since it first started back in 1995, admits she still can’t believe she had Hollyoaks legend Nick Pickard, 48, at her wedding.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, the retail worker, said: “Everyone still talks about it now. I was screaming and crying when I first saw him. 

“I just couldn’t believe it. When we look at the pictures, I think ‘Oh my, it is actually him. We’ve got a big picture from our wedding day on the wall above the television, and it’s me and my husband with Tony from Hollyoaks! 

“We see it every single day but it still all feels so surreal. I still can’t believe it happened.”

Nick has played loveable chef Tony Hutchinson since that very first episode, earning him the nickname Mr Hollyoaks.

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Claire’s husband Nick, 42, a web developer, reached out to an acquaintance of the actor to send him an invite to his wedding, he had no idea if he’d even got it until he turned up with their other guests.

Nick said: “Claire is the biggest Hollyoaks fan. So when a guy I used to work with said that he knew Nick, I asked him to pass on an invitation. 

“We’d never even met him! I’d told Claire what I’d done and not to get her hopes up. But then he came along which was such a pleasant surprise and everyone absolutely loved him. He was so modest and humble. 

“He could see how much it meant to Claire that ‘Tony from Hollyoaks’ was at our wedding, and he was just so down to earth

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“At one point he even got involved in a dance-off with a Gordon Ramsay lookalike that we’d hired as part of the entertainment. It was hilarious. He got on with absolutely everyone and was the life and soul of the party."

The couple got hitched at Chester Town Hall in Cheshire in August 2017 and partied into the night with their friends, family and Nick, who was one of the last to leave.

Claire said: “He was there right until the very end. We all had the best night. He was dancing with everyone. 

“The ladies loved him and said how much better looking he was in real life and the blokes all wanted to be his mate. He certainly seemed to enjoy himself, and I will never ever forget the effort he made coming to our special day. It just wouldn’t have been the same without him.”

Claire and Nick are now backing the Hollyoaks legend to be crowned King of the jungle and are tuning in every night to watch their special wedding guest.

Nick said: “We don’t usually watch I’m A Celebrity but we are this year because of Nick. 

“He’d be a great King of the Jungle! We've seen him a few times since he came to our wedding and he tells everyone that he was there and what a great day it was. 

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“We last saw him at a charity football match a few weeks before he flew to Australia, I can’t believe he didn’t tell us he was going in. 

“I’m so glad everyone is getting the chance to see what he’s like outside of Hollyoaks.”

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