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It’s clear to see that TV presenter Lisa Snowdon and her fiancé George Smart are meant to be together when we catch up with the loved-up pair at their stunning Essex home.
The love story between Lisa and creative director George goes way back, but it was serendipity that reunited them and brought them back together the second time round. After a fleeting fling in their twenties, the pair went their separate ways – Lisa headed to Los Angeles and George enjoyed a new life in London.
Lisa tells us, “I was working at MTV and George had come from Yorkshire to work there, too. That was 18 years ago. We hooked up at V Festival at the end of the night. We had a little hot fling for a minute and then that was it for years.”
It wasn’t until a mutual friend reunited the pair 14 years later that they were in it for the long haul. “We had a little liaison back then but I hadn’t seen him since. When we were reintroduced, he asked me out for dinner and we just chatted and laughed for hours,” Lisa recalls.
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George romantically got down on one knee at Christmas time 2017. Talking of the wedding, Lisa reveals, “We haven’t got anything planned, we’re even less inclined to plan anything now but we’ll see. We’re really happy together and we’re going to be together forever, regardless of whether we actually have a contract signed and a big service.”
Being 48, Lisa made the tough decision not to have children of her own, admitting, “I’ve totally made peace with it now. It wasn’t meant for this life for me but we’re lucky that we’ve got all our lovely little crazy nieces and nephews in our life. We don’t feel childless because we have so much contact with them.”
Here, the beautiful couple tell OK! all about love, life and what makes their relationship work…
How are you both?
Lisa: Good. George isn’t very comfortable in front of the camera and hates the attention being on him so I’ve never laughed so much as I have on this shoot. He hates the red carpet, but I’ve managed to drag him into some pictures – he’s very photogenic.
How has lockdown been for you?
George: The bonus is that we get on very well so we feel lucky. It’s been amazing to spend this much time together, because normally with work and travel we don’t get that time. Our street has been so warm and brought us all together. While we’re conscious of what the country is dealing with, we’re very grateful.
Lisa: We’ve had some lovely letters through our door from people down the street, the community spirit has been amazing.
Have you had any epiphanies in lockdown?
Lisa: Yes, I like this slower pace of life rather than trying to do too much. The things that I do, I want to do properly. It’s also made me think about not travelling as much and appreciating the simplicity of where we live. We love bike riding together now!
George: Epping Forest is at the end of our road so we walk together and spend time in nature.
Lisa: I love getting into bed early and waking up feeling refreshed; I don’t miss the hustle and bustle.
George: We’ve seen more of our close friends than normal on Zoom and those friendships have become stronger because of this. Doing the whole social circuit means you often end up hanging out with people that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend time with. When I set up a Zoom call now, it has to be worth it, especially because it takes me about a week to set one up!
Tell us about how you met?
Lisa: I was working at MTV and George had come from Yorkshire to work there, too. That was 18 years ago. We hooked up at V Festival at the end of the night. We had a little hot fling for a minute and then that was it for years. George was a bit younger than me, he was only 23 and he’d just moved to London so it definitely wasn’t the right time for anything serious. I went off to Los Angeles and we were both just on different paths just loving life and all the opportunities. Life is all about timing. We connected back then so we could reconnect now. It wouldn’t have worked for either of us back then.
George: There was barely a mobile phone back then either.
Then what happened?
Lisa: We got reintroduced by a mutual friend, a make-up artist called Amanda, who George was working with at the time. They got talking about relationships and one thing led to another and we got reintroduced. On that first date, we just chatted and laughed all night long after 14 years apart. It was brilliant and we never ran out of things to say.
George: We still haven’t.
Lisa: It was like we’d never been apart. We moved in straight away, we didn’t even discuss it, it just happened and felt right. It was easy and off we went! If you have that connection in the first place, it can always come back. I don’t want to get all gushy but we’re best mates as well as being good together.
Tell us about your engagement?
Lisa: It was perfect and very low-key. It was magical because it was so George. He went downstairs to make coffee and breakfast and proposed to me there and then – I got a coffee and a ring which was amazing.
Did you get down on one knee, George?
I slumped forward.
Lisa: We were in our pyjamas, it was very chilled. Afterwards, we called everyone except my dad who was at the cricket in India. After calling everyone, we were buzzing and thought we’d celebrate, then suddenly my dad flashed up on screen at the cricket by complete coincidence. We rewound it, paused it and then took a picture to send to him with my ring finger and the words, “We did it!” We’ll always remember that day.
Your engagement ring looks amazing…
Lisa: I never take it off. He did well.
George: I knew in my head what she wanted. The stressful part was being in a restaurant on the night I bought it and the waiter insisting on taking my bag, we had a proper standoff.
Lisa: I didn’t even notice.
Were you expecting it, Lisa?
Lisa: No, it was such a shock, I was like, “Really?” He’d spoken to my dad and did it all properly which was lovely. We have a lot of jeweller friends, including Stephen Webster, who he could have called, but it was amazing that he did it by himself.
Have you set a wedding date yet?
Lisa: No. It was reported that we were due to get married this summer in Japan, but the journalist got it all wrong. We haven’t got anything planned, we’re even less inclined to plan anything now. We’ll see. We’re really happy and we’re going to be together forever regardless of whether we actually have a contract signed and a big service.
Would you like kids one day?
Lisa: No, no, no! I’m going to be 49 in January. I can’t believe it.
How do you feel about not being a mum?
Lisa: I’ve totally made peace with it now. Being a mum wasn’t meant for me in this life. My niece Willow is bonkers, she’s just like me. We’ve got five little nieces and nephews all under the age of eight and they’re this little crazy bunch. We get to hug them and then we get to say goodbye. We don’t feel childless because Willow is always texting me and we’ve got a lot of contact with them on a daily basis.
How do you feel about not having kids, George?
The same, my priority has always been Lisa and will always be. We feel very lucky to have nieces and nephews that we’re close to. We’re happy with our life.
Lisa: It’s just you and me kid! A lot of people with kids say to us, “You’re so lucky, you’re always away!” or, “You’re so lucky not to have to homeschool.” We’d like dogs one day when we get our big house.
What’s a typical date night?
Lisa: We’re both real foodies. George will sometimes just take over with all these new recipes and say, “No, you relax – I’m going to cook for you.” It’s been good fun. He made his famous fish pie, which was delicious. We also love the restaurants Bombetta, Hix and Gymkhana, which was our last meal out before lockdown. George has got me into city breaks, I was always a beach girl but we’ve had some great trips to Oslo, Copenhagen and Bilbao. We love our food, so we’re prepared to travel to places off the beaten track.
George: We love Japan. A perk of the way we’ve chosen to live our lives is that we can go all over the world and explore all the restaurants.
What’s the best thing about each other?
George: There’s not a lot that I don’t love about her. We get on incredibly well and we understand each other. It’s relaxed with no pressure. The hardest thing to achieve is simplicity. People put an enormous amount of pressure on relationships but we don’t have that.
Lisa: We just fit, there’s no drama and we respect each other. I have an amazing sense of home when I’m with George. He loves me unconditionally, I’m not always calm and I can have the worst temper and get insecure, but he’s always the most supportive and listens to me.
George: That’s just being a human. You have good days and bad days and that’s when you surround yourself with stability.
Lisa: It’s just peaceful and happy.
George: Very boring [laughs]!
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What makes your relationship work?
Lisa: Respect, liking the other person and wanting them to excel in everything. That works with us. George can be quite bossy sometimes, we both can.
George: We’ve got a foundation there and that makes life exciting and we both intend on preserving that. It’s an egoless relationship.
Lisa: George surprises me constantly, even when we ended up at a wellness retreat in New Zealand and we fasted, did meditation and yoga – he embraced it all. We got drunk really quickly after that week of no booze!
Tell us about your home…
Lisa: I’ve been very productive during lockdown. We’ve enjoyed spending more time here. We work all day and see each other at lunchtime and in the evenings. George is usually out of the door at 6.45am so it’s been so nice to have our morning coffee together before he goes to his office upstairs, I don’t ever want that to change.
What’s your favourite part of the house?
Lisa: We love our garden and our conservatory is our sanctuary. There’s loads of plants and living things everywhere. It’s a combination of both of us; we’re quite different because I’m a hoarder and love collecting things and he’s a minimalist. We have lots of flowers, candles and crystals, but George has made me declutter a lot. The charity shops around here have done so well out of us. I walk past the window and see my dresses and want to go back and buy them back [laughs]!
What’s in store for 2021?
Lisa: We’d like to build a really cool Grand Designs-style house next year.
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