Amanda Abbington’s life from co-star romance to proposal after 30 minutes

Amanda Abbington shares update on Strictly rehearsals

Award-winning actress Amanda Abbington was born in North London on February 28, 1972, before relocating and spending most of her early life in Hertfordshire.

She discovered her love of acting at a young age and her television career began in 1993 when she landed roles on ITV’s The Bill.

In the years following, Amanda secured plenty more parts across TV, film and the stage, with credits including Casualty (1999), Doc Martin (2007), Dream Team (1999), The Robinsons (2005) and After You’ve Gone alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst (2007).

The 51-year-old is perhaps best known for playing Josie Mardle in Mr Selfridge (2013-2016) and Mary Morstan, the wife of John Watson, in BBC’s Sherlock (2014-2017).

In Sherlock, Amanda’s on-screen husband was played by her real-life partner Martin Freeman.

READ MORE: Amanda Abbington on reason she and Martin Freeman kept kids out of public eye

She met The Office star on the set of Men Only in 2000 and their relationship began that year.

They never got married but share two children: Joe, 17, and Grace, 15.

After 16 years together, they confirmed their “amicable” split with Martin, 52, telling the Financial Times in 2016: “I’m not with Amanda anymore. It’s very, very amicable – I’ll always love Amanda.”

Amanda echoed to The Telegraph that there was “no hostility” behind their separation, rather that they simply “could not live together anymore”.

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In a later interview, the Strictly Come Dancing hopeful said the split had been “one of the darkest moments” of her life, but that it prompted an “extraordinary journey of self-discovery”.

In 2021, Amanda found love again with stuntman and Britain’s Got Talent star Jonathan Goodwin.

The pair had initially struck up a friendship on social media back in 2012 but only discovered they had a deeper connection when they both became single.

After exchanging messages and phone calls, they eventually met in person when Jonathan visited Amanda in Vienna.

Within 30 minutes, they were engaged.

Describing the romantic moment, Jonathan told The Guardian in 2022: “By this time, I knew that I was going to ask her to marry me. I had been planning it already, even though we’d only been talking for a month.

“I cut the shape of the ring box out of the middle of a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets, so it fitted inside. Underneath the box it said: ‘Will you marry me?’”

Amanda accepted his proposal, knowing as soon as they met that he was her “person”.

However, their blissful happiness would soon take a turn for the worse when Jonathan was involved in a horrific accident just two weeks later.

The escapologist, 43, had attempted to escape from a straitjacket while upside-down 30 feet in the air, suspended between two cars.

However, the cars were released too early and he was crushed between them as they caught fire.

Jonathan sustained many injuries including third-degree burns, a broken spine, a severed spinal cord, and two broken shoulder blades. He also shattered both legs and lost a kidney.

He was released from the hospital in February 2022 but was left paralysed from the waist down.

Jonathan says he assured Amanda that if she “wanted to walk away” he would “understand”.

However, Amanda told him “not to be so stupid”.

Amanda Abbington will make her Strictly Come Dancing debut at 6.35pm on BBC One.

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