Britain’s most married man is set to tie the knot again – and he says he’s the happiest man on Earth thanks to his new fiancee, who’s just arrived from the Philippines.Ron Sheppard, 68, fell for Filipino call centre worker Cristel Marquez, who is 40 years his junior, after chatting her up online – and says she’ll be his “forever” wife.
The couple first met over ten years ago, when Cristel was 15 or 16 and part of a group of friends, while he was married to Wan (wife number seven) and living in Thailand.
Ron’s eighth wife Weng, 36, gave him the boot after 11 years of marriage because of his antics on a trip to the Far East in November, when he shared a bed with a young female masseuse.He moved on and proposed to mum-of-one Cristel, 27, on New Year’s Eve and intends to adopt her seven-year-old son Miggs.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Ron said:
“At first I didn’t know what came over me when I proposed. I’ll be honest, I thought it may have been my medication. People say I must be brave to have taken this on.
“Marrying a girl over 40 years younger is not brave. Having nine mother-in-laws – that’s bravery.”
Cristel told the Mirror:
“I know what it looks like but I am not here for a passport.
“I am not here to take advantage of Ron.”
But a wedding will have to wait for now, as he is waiting for a court hearing in the New Year which will confirm his eighth marriage is officially over.
Earlier this year, Ron was slapped with a restraining order for harassing eighth wife Weng to try and win her back.
Describing his own trip to the Philippines earlier this year, Ron said:
“I was invited out there for Christmas to spend it with her family.
She is absolutely adoring and very, very caring.
“She looked after me so well when I was over there. With my Parkinson’s she took really good care of me – she even showered me to make sure I was okay.”
Kathy Bass, 52, from Cornwall, met Ron while working as a bluecoat at Pontins in the late 1970s, early 1980s.
The pair worked as entertainers at the popular holiday camps and spent four years working alongside a young Shane Richie before he gained fame on TV.
They tied the knot in 1982 and went on to have one daughter who is now 34.
Kathy told The Daily Mirror:
“I would advise Cristel to run for the hills. Every time he gets re-married I think here we go again.
I don’t think he will ever change, I don’t think it’s possible. He loves the attention but you think he would have given it all up by now at his age.”
Ron on the ones that got away
1. Margaret in 1966. Had three kids and divorced after two years.
“She was a nice girl, shame it didn’t last.”
2. Jeannette, 1973. Lasted one year.
“I loved Jeanette as a friend and she is still a good friend now.”
3. Lesley, 1976. Had two boys. Ron left in 1981. Passed away in 1996.
“That one could’ve worked because she was a lovely girl but I was scared of her dad.”
4. Kathy, 1982. Had one daughter.
“Kathy was very entertaining and she did a great job as a bluecoat at Pontins with me and Shane Richie.”
5. Sue, 1986. They had two sons, but she threw him out in 1997.
“I was with her for 12 years and she was a very nice person but a bit domineering for me.”
6. Usha, 1999. Ended after four years.
“A really lovely woman but sadly she got too homesick to stay and went home.”
7. Wan, 2003. She left to go home to Bangkok after eight months.
“She was lovely but crazy. She threatened to jump off a balcony if I did not marry her.”
8. Weng, 2004. Split up in November and planning to get divorced.
“A very nice caring girl and I thought it would last forever but it didn’t”
9. Cristel. Engaged on New Year’s Eve last year. Plan to wed in 2017.
“Cristel will be my forever wife. This one is real love. This is the last one – I promise.”