SELF-STYLED Spartan Francis Jones is finally marrying his feisty office manager and TV co-star, Rachel Bruce.

The star of BBC series Rent-a-Cop got down on one knee and popped the question after Ms Bruce dared to flirt with another Spartan warrior.

Mr Jones – who runs the Sparta Security firm in Darlington – had spent ten years telling Ms Bruce that he didn’t love her but the pair’s recent trip to America changed all of that.

Catching sight of a text between his closest companion and one of his employees, Mr Jones became incensed, booking three flights home for Ms Bruce during the course of the holiday.

He said: “We’ve never been in a relationship and I always told her she was free and single and could do what she liked.

“But then, for once in her life, she was obedient and started texting another lad – I was absolutely gutted.

“I couldn’t stand her for the rest of the holiday but on the flight home, I got a feeling I’ve never experienced before and I told her I loved her.

“I didn’t know that I loved her for ten years, I didn’t have a clue.”

The Northern Echo: Francis Jones with fiancee Rachel Bruce, left, promoting his Rent-A-Cop TV show

Still struggling with his new feelings, committed Christian Mr Jones visited the toilet to pray at a Middlesbrough charity night on Saturday.

When he emerged, another partygoer encouraged him to propose to Ms Bruce and, taking the conversation as a sign from God, he did just that.

He said: “I got on the mic but I didn’t have a ring with me until a girl ran over and gave me one out of a Kinder egg.

“I’m happy, so happy but I’m thinking that I should get some sort of agreement done because she’ll be entitled to half of Sparta.”

The Northern Echo: Francis Jones pops the question

Ms Bruce said she was thrilled at the thought of marrying Mr Jones, adding: “It’s been a bit of a carry on, he would always say he didn’t love me or want a relationship.

“I had no idea he was going to propose, I just thought he loved being on the mic – I was gobsmacked, but so happy.”

The engaged couple are now appealing for help in finding a wedding venue, because Mr Jones has optimistically booked their honeymoon for December 22.

Any wedding venue with availability for Wednesday, December 21 is asked to contact the pair by calling 0800 0234480.