At 42, TV presenter Melanie Sykes has never felt more confident or comfortable in her own skin – and it shows. "I love being this age" says Melanie, who is set to marry her fiancé Jack Cockings this year.
"My life just seems to get better. I don't know whether that's because I make better decisions now because I'm older, wiser and have learnt from a million mistakes. But I don't hanker after anything that's gone before; not my youth, my history, nothing at all."
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Melanie's positive outlook is thanks to Jack, the 27-year-old roofing contractor she famously met via Twitter last April and to whom she became engaged in August. "I've never met anyone before who I have the kind of synergy that I have with him," she says of her fiancé.
"He is absolutely my equal; in terms of intelligence, humour, ethics,our ideas about family – we just connect on every level, and that’s quite a thing to find."
Nonetheless, no one is more surprised than Melanie that the pair are now busy organising their wedding.
"I had no plans to marry again, ever, not at all," says the former model, whose eight-year marriage to actor Daniel Caltagirone – father of her sons Roman, who's now 10, and eight-year-old Valentino – ended in 2009.
"Sometimes, I find myself looking at Jack and thinking, 'How have you managed to change my mind?'" she says.
So how did he do it? Melanie laughs: "He didn't sit me down and brainwash me or anything. Look, I don't want to talk too much about what Jack feels about us because they're his feelings and it's not fair.
"But he envisaged being married to someone and when we met, he knew that someone was me. And for my part, there was this dawning realisation of, 'Yeah, actually, it feels right.' He's quite something himself, you know."
To read the full interview, pick up a copy of HELLO!, issue 1266, out now