Fiery couple Vicky Pattison and Ricci Guarnaccio talk exclusively to Closer about their engagement and life on TV’s most scandalous reality show
Glossy reality shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea may have dominated our screens lately, but MTV’s Geordie Shore – think less gloss, more grit – has fast become cult viewing.
The show – which follows a group of eight teenagers and 20-somethings who live, “work” and party together in Newcastle – has a reputation for scandal. The Geordie crew pull no punches – there are drunken one night-stands, explosive bust-ups, extensive male grooming and a lot of drinking.
Yet among the empty beer cans, pizza boxes and ashtrays, an unlikely romance has blossomed between cast members Vicky Pattison and Ricci Guarnaccio and the pair announced their engagement this week.
Self-proclaimed “player” Ricci, 25, entered the Geordie Shore house at the start of series two last October and, within hours, was cosying up to original cast member Vicky.
She soon ended her relationship with former boyfriend Dan Matthews, who she’d been with since the summer, and began a romance with Ricci. They’ve now been dating for seven months. Vicky, 24, laughs: “There was an instant attraction there. I just thought, ‘This one’s trouble.’ And then he took his top off and it was game over!”
For Ricci, the attraction was even more intense. He says: “I would say it was love at first sight! The last thing I expected when I went into the house was to fall in love but, the minute I met Vicky, it felt right.”
While their housemates were enjoying late-night hot-tub sessions and hosting guests in the “f**k hut” – a pimped-up garden shed with a bed inside – the lovebirds had a series of romantic dates, including a birthday meal for Vicky with gifts of a giant teddy bear and designer jewellery, much to the disdain of some of the other cast members.
“There was an instant attraction there. I just thought, ‘This one’s trouble.’ And then he took his top off and it was game over!”
Vicky says: “I’ve never felt as loved as I do with Ricci, he makes me feel confident and treasured. The others tease us a bit but, underneath it all, they’re happy for us!”
On the last night of filming the Geordie Shore series in Cancun, Mexico, last month, Ricci took Vicky to dinner and had a massive surprise in store. She says: “He kept saying: ‘Please, just turn around’ and, when I did, I looked up to the sky where a plane had flown by with the message: ‘Vicky, will you marry me?’”
Despite their whirlwind and often fiery romance – which has been plagued with drunken fights – Vicky says she never considered saying no to Ricci’s romantic proposal.
She says: “I just know it’s right – I made the decision to be with him and we lived together straight away, so it feels more intense. Yes, we have rows and bust-ups, but what relationship doesn’t? I love that he’s a real man, keeps me on my toes and doesn’t let me walk all over him.”
When the pair told the rest of the cast the news of their engagement, the reaction was mixed. Vicky explains: “The lads and most of the girls were dead pleased for us, but Charlotte acted a bit off – she said she thought I’d say no.”
Charlotte-Letitia Crosby, 21, and cast mate Gary “Gaz” Beadle, 23, have had an on-going flirtation and slept together several times. While Gary has been open about the fact he sees it as a casual fling – outrageously calling Charlotte his “banker” where he leaves deposits at night – she has been upset at the thought of him seeing other girls.
Vicky says: “I think it’s very hard for Charlotte to see what I have with Ricci and wanting something more serious with Gaz. But she’s young and she will move on and meet someone who treats her like a princess.”
Now Vicky’s already planning her big day – which the couple are setting for 2014 – and says: “I’ve always wanted to get married and it feels like it’s all fallen into place! Will I play the devoted wife? Hell, no! But I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
“Geordie Shore is the last place you’d expect to find your husband – it’s like the antithesis of love – if we can survive that, we can survive anything!”
Ricci adds: “I can’t wait for it to be just us, to build a life together – I had my days of playing around and they’re over now.”