Chelsea Halfpenny is set to wed her teen crush 16 years after first laying eyes on him


Love At First Sight! Casualty star Chelsea Halfpenny reveals she’s marrying her teenage crush – 16 years after first laying eyes on him


The saying goes it was love at first sight. 

And while her husband-to-be might have barely noticed her during their first encounter, for ex Casualty star Chelsea Halfpenny, meeting James Baxter aged 14 during a drama workshop left her crushing hard – and now, 16 years on, the pair are set to wed.

Chelsea, 30, and James, 31, only crossed paths again at the National Television Awards in 2018 and six months later, they went on their first date – with James putting a ring on it last year.  

Love At First Sight! Love At First Sight! Casualty star Chelsea Halfpenny is set to wed her teenage crush – 16 years after first laying eyes on him

Speaking to The Mirror about their first meeting, she recalled: ‘I really fancied him and he did not fancy me at all! He’s a year older and I thought he was really cool, but I also remember thinking, “Well, no wonder he’s not interested, because he’s just so much older than me!”’

In the years after, the love-stricken actress snatched roles in Byker Grove and in 2010, Emmerdale, where James portrayed Arthur Thomas’ half-brother Jake Doland.

Yet the Amy Wyatt actress, who took on the role of Val and Eric Pollard’s rebellious foster child in the soap, still wasn’t destined to meet James as he left the Dales months before she joined.

Happy ending: While her husband-to-be might have barely noticed her during their first encounter, for Chelsea, meeting James aged 14 during a drama workshop was love at first sight

Happy ending: While her husband-to-be might have barely noticed her during their first encounter, for Chelsea, meeting James aged 14 during a drama workshop was love at first sight 

The brunette beauty explained how her Emmerdale co-stars would speak about James on set.

‘I knew exactly who they meant because I remembered this gorgeous boy with the spiky hair that I fancied so much!’ she enthused.

During their fated meet in 2018 at the NTAs, Chelsea, whose current role was foundation Alicia Munroe in Casualty, was in attendance with her co-stars while James was with the Still Open All Hours crew, the corner-shop comedy in which he starred with David Jason. 

She quipped that this time round, it was James’ turn to chase her – and he didn’t initially believe that she’d crushed on him as a teen. 

Looking back: Speaking to The Mirror about their first meet, she recalled: 'I really fancied him and he did not fancy me at all!'

Looking back: Speaking to The Mirror about their first meet, she recalled: ‘I really fancied him and he did not fancy me at all!’

Meant to be: During their fated meet in 2018 at the NTAs, Chelsea, whose current role was foundation Alicia Munroe in Casualty (above) was in attendance with her co-stars while James was with the Still Open All Hours crew, the corner-shop comedy in which he starred with David Jason

Meant to be: During their fated meet in 2018 at the NTAs, Chelsea, whose current role was foundation Alicia Munroe in Casualty was in attendance with her co-stars while James was with the Still Open All Hours crew, the corner-shop comedy in which he starred with David Jason (above)

Meant to be: During their fated meet in 2018 at the NTAs, Chelsea, whose current role was foundation Alicia Munroe in Casualty (l) was in attendance with her co-stars while James was with the Still Open All Hours crew, the corner-shop comedy in which he starred with David Jason (r)

The pair got engaged last summer but the weddings plans are on hold while Chelsea tours the UK in romantic musical comedy Waitress. 

It comes after she quit Casualty in 2019 following four years on the programme and turned down an offer to return to Emmerdale the same year. 

‘I’d just left Casualty because I wanted to be challenged creatively with a new role, so it didn’t make sense to go back to Emmerdale,’ she admitted. 

Roles: It comes after she quit Casualty in 2019 following four years on the programme and turned down an offer to return to Emmerdale the same year (pictured on the latter, 2011)

Roles: It comes after she quit Casualty in 2019 following four years on the programme and turned down an offer to return to Emmerdale the same year (pictured on the latter, 2011)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk