Daughter of Line of Duty’s Superintendent Ted Hastings tells how her engagement ended with a security guard calling the COPS

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If her father’s alter ego Superintendent Ted Hastings heard Madeleine Dunbar’s new single Manchild Apocalypse, released on Sunday, his reaction would probably be, ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey!’

But Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar, 63, is well used to the spirited behaviour of his singer daughter, who only told him she was engaged the night before it was announced in a newspaper’s gossip column.

Due to make Adrian and her Dutch-Australian actress mum Anna Nygh, 73, grandparents in December, in a break with convention it was she who proposed to Callum Lazenby-Todd, 32, who runs a roofing business, on a jetty on the Thames outside London’s famous Oxo Tower.

Madeleine with her husband-to-be Callum ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine with her husband-to-be Callum ( PA Real Life)

But Madeleine, 34, of Forest Gate, East London, whose first baby is due on December 18, says the romantic gesture ended in tears when security guards rushed out and called the police on them for trespassing, as she was down on one knee.

The singer-songwriter who forms half of the pop duo, Minx & Dusal, with her friend Will Harrison said: “I was really nervous as I’d been waiting on this jetty for an hour. Callum sat down next to me and I got out an Irish Claddagh ring from a jewellery bag.

“But I was down on my knee declaring my love for this man when I heard a security guard shouting at us, telling us we were not supposed to be there and that they were calling the cops.”

Dad Adrian was ‘delighted’ at the news ( PA Real Life)
Dad Adrian was ‘delighted’ at the news ( PA Real Life)

At this point, in the words of Superintendent Hastings, the couple – who had returned to the spot where they shared their first kiss exactly a year earlier – looked like they had “lost the shilling and found the penny.”

Hurrying off the jetty, which had been closed to the public during lockdown due to antisocial behaviour, they scarpered after hearing the police would arrive imminently.

Madeleine said: “I just started bawling. I was crying and crying and crying because the moment was spoiled.

Madeleine was in tears after the proposal went awry ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine was in tears after the proposal went awry ( PA Real Life)

“But Callum said, ‘Don’t worry. Yes, I will marry you’ and he let me put the ring on his finger.”

Later able to laugh about their ordeal, they had more explaining to do when she told a journalist about the approaching nuptials before she had a chance to tell her own dad.

Luckily, he is easy going – not like the firebrand cop he plays with the famous temper.

Madeleine as a child with dad TV-star dad Adrian ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine as a child with dad TV-star dad Adrian ( PA Real Life)

“My dad didn’t find out until it was about to be printed in the paper,” laughed Madeleine.

“He said, ‘Of course I’m delighted. My baby daughter’s getting married!’

“I was a little worried about the fact that I was the one who asked Callum to marry me, because dad comes from a very traditional Irish background and I was concerned about what he would think,”

Madeleine and Callum met online and hit it off straight away ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine and Callum met online and hit it off straight away ( PA Real Life)

“But he had no issue with it. He knows me. He knows it’s the kind of thing I do!”

As women traditionally only propose on a leap year, though, her mum wondered why she did not wait for Callum to pop the question.

“At the time, my mum wondered why I didn’t wait and why I didn’t want the special feeling of being asked,” she said.

Madeleine out to dinner with mum Anna and dad Adrian ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine out to dinner with mum Anna and dad Adrian ( PA Real Life)

“But I think I preferred the special feeling of asking myself.”

And there is a lot more excitement in store for Madeleine and Callum, who are looking forward to becoming parents at Christmas time – when they are having a baby – and to tying-the-knot in the future.

Madeleine is also hoping for success with her new single, which takes a comic look at a former relationship with a man who she says was the opposite to Callum.

Madeleine’s musical alter-ego ‘Madeleine Minx’ (@wesleyaaronphotography/ PA Real Life)
Madeleine’s musical alter-ego ‘Madeleine Minx’ (@wesleyaaronphotography/ PA Real Life)

“He didn’t want to grow up,” she said.

“I’m a bit of a comedian – well at least I think I’m funny – so I think it’s quite a funny song.”

Now blissfully happy with Callum, who she met on dating app Bumble in June 2020 – which lets the woman make the first move – as it has worked for them thus far, she decided to stay in charge by being the one who proposed.

Callum and Madeleine in Donegal (Shauna Ward – PA Real Life)
Callum and Madeleine in Donegal (Shauna Ward – PA Real Life)

“I’d been getting really good at Bumble,” she said.

“I’d been good at weeding out those I’d get on with and those I wouldn’t.

“When Callum flashed up on the screen, all I said was, ‘You pretty,’ and he replied ‘You pretty’ back.

Sparks flew on Madeleine and Callum’s first date ( PA Real Life)
Sparks flew on Madeleine and Callum’s first date ( PA Real Life)

“So, we agreed to meet up. I was so bored of having dead conversations and he just looked handsome and lovely.”

Attracted by Eastender Callum’s long hair and Cockney accent, when they enjoyed a romantic riverside walk along London’s South Bank on their first date, she knew he was the one for her.

“We stood on the jetty outside the Oxo Tower, where I later proposed,” she said.

Madeleine waiting for Callum at the Oxo jetty ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine waiting for Callum at the Oxo jetty ( PA Real Life)

“We looked at each other for a really long time and we then shared a kiss, which was really nice. It was our first kiss.”

Things moved pretty quickly after that, with the couple moving in together in January 2021 and Madeleine falling pregnant in the spring.

Exactly a year after their first kiss, she made a plan to return to the special spot to propose.

Madeleine fell for Callum’s sense of humour ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine fell for Callum’s sense of humour ( PA Real Life)

But since their first date, a barrier had been erected to stop people from using the jetty.

Determined to propose as planned, Madeleine hopped over the barrier with Callum and dropped to one knee – only for the Oxo Tower’s security team to call the police.

“I thought, ‘Geez man, can’t you just wait until I’ve finished?'” she said.

Minx & Dusal performing at Tileyard studios (PA Real Life)
Minx & Dusal performing at Tileyard studios (PA Real Life)

Afterwards, she discovered her fiancé had also planned to ask her to marry him but did not want to be accused of having a “shotgun wedding” because she is pregnant.

Madeleine said: “We aren’t in a rush to get married, even though we’ve done everything so quickly!

“But we definitely want to do it when the baby is a toddler, because they can be the ring bearer.”

‘Manchild Apocalypse’ was released on Sunday (@wesleyaaronphotography/ PA Real Life)
‘Manchild Apocalypse’ was released on Sunday (@wesleyaaronphotography/ PA Real Life)

Now, in the run up to becoming a mum, Madeleine, who completed her Masters degree in song writing this year at Tileyard, a higher education facility and music studio used by the likes of Lily Allen and Liam Gallagher, is looking forward to promoting her new single.

She said: “My last song, ‘Who Knows’ was named BBC Radio One single of the week, so I am hoping for another success.”

A spokesman from Coin Street, the company responsible for security on the part of the South Bank where Madeleine proposed, expressed regret that the occasion was interrupted.

Madeleine is expecting her first child in December ( PA Real Life)
Madeleine is expecting her first child in December ( PA Real Life)

They said: “We are suckers for romance. It was certainly a gorgeous gesture for the bride to be, to want to propose where they had had their first kiss the year before.

“It was a risky thing for them to do, but we bear no hard feelings.”

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