Back on that fateful day in Jamaica, Nathan was simply searching for scenic photo locations and this lovely local had a camera, so it seemed she might be able to help. Walking along the shore together they clicked, so they swapped numbers when the award-winning cruise entertainer left Nicolette to rejoin his ship.
For the next six months they chatted online, getting to know each other slowly. Nicolette was able to join Nathan for a day when his boat docked in Boston, USA. Then, four weeks later, they shared an “incredible”
two-week holiday in Hawaii.
“I knew right then I wanted to marry this woman,” smiles Nathan, who finally popped the question on a wintry walk to the Grand Canyon’s scenic Ooh Aah Point last year.
“Nicolette is a sweet country girl with the cutest Jamaican accent, a love of family and good morals. We even love the same music!
“From the start, everything felt amazing and easy – and it all fell into place. She understands my work, understands me. There’s never any drama. Maybe because she’s Jamaican, she’s pretty relaxed!
“I’d been on many, many dates with different people and some of them were good,” says Nathan, who was once engaged to co-star Kellie Hoggart during their Hi-5 days.
“But nothing was right until I met Nicolette. No relationship is ever 100 per cent perfect, of course, but this is pretty close for me."
Proudly showing off her silver and diamond engagement ring, a family heirloom from Nathan’s mother Julie Walker, his beaming fiancee agrees. But she did have reservations about hiking down Arizona’s steep South Kaibab Trail prior to Nathan’s proposal.
“I almost didn’t make it down there,”’ admits the stunning 36-year-old, a well-known catwalk queen in Jamaica alongside her identical twin Antoinette. “I’m pretty adventurous but the entrance to the trail was filled with ice and pretty slippery. The edge was right there and I was scared I might go over … ”
Luckily, she took the risk and was suitably astonished when her boyfriend dropped to one knee – “Like something out of The Bold and the Beautiful,” jokes Nathan – and begged her to be his wife.
“I was speechless for a few seconds and then I just said, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ You can imagine, I had no idea what he had planned, but I was so sure,” says Nicolette, who loves the way Nathan always makes her laugh.
“Afterwards, he told me he had already asked my mum and my sister for their blessing, which was wonderful.”
The deliriously happy couple, who live on the NSW Central Coast, have planned a March wedding which will be attended by former Hi-5 colleagues Kathleen de Leon and Tim Harding. Charli Robinson, who just gave birth to her first baby, has sent apologies.
“We’re all good friends and try to stay in touch,” says Nathan, who has pursued a successful solo career overseas since leaving the hit children’s band a decade ago. “It’s amazing to think it’s 20 years since Hi-5 started, and I still get recognised all over the world by fans who grew up watching the show.
“Kathleen, Kellie, Tim and Charli are my sisters and brothers, and we will have a connection for life. We were like family.”
Nathan grins and says: “2019 is a new beginning for me. It’s definitely time to lay down some roots and start a family.”
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