Brit soap star's dramatic real-life romance leads to engagement announcement

EastEnders soap star Sid Owen sleeps in a separate bed than his longtime girlfriend, 26-year-old Polly Parsons, but that didn't stop the pair from secretly getting engaged six months ago. Nor did it stop them from postponing a planned September ceremony after a two-month split earlier this year.

Owen, 38, who is also a former British pop star, proposed to Parsons while on holiday in Barbados six months ago. Owen and Parsons tell OK! about the romantic proposal.

"There was a raft out at sea which we'd swim out to," says Owen. "I didn't have a ring so I got this guy on the beach to make one out of beads in the reggae colours, as I love my reggae, and I put that in my back pocket and we swam out there and I proposed."

"It was really romantic," says Parsons.

'Romantic' does little to describe how this happy couple spend their nights - apart, in separate bedrooms. Then again, Parsons reasoning for sleeping alone may have a lot to do with why they're so blissfully happy these days.

"He snores like a rhino," she says. "After we went traveling I had to be honest with him about it," says Polly, 'and he said he liked having his own bed anyway so it was perfect. I'll stay in Sid's bed watching TV cuddling. If I fall asleep in his room I soon hear him snoring and get up anyway and go into my room. People think it's weird but it works for us."

The couple were originally planning to wed in September but split when the pressure of pulling together the big day became too much for Parsons. "We had about a thousand people coming! It would have been about everyone else - now we've had time apart, we know what's important. It just started to get out of hand and it scared me."

During their time apart, Owen took off for a detox centre in Thailand, but the couple say they spoke daily in order to get their relationship back on track. As for where and when the couple will finally wed, the couple tells OK! they plan to take their time and will wed "maybe next year."

But they'll have to compromise - Owen wants a wedding at his 600-year-old farmhouse in France, but Polly wants to return to Barbados.