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David and Victoria Beckham at his wedding

David and Victoria Beckham at his wedding

David and Victoria Beckham at his wedding

Victoria and David Beckham received £1 million (€1.1m) for pictures of their fairytale Irish wedding, according to a new documentary.

Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin, which dates back to the 15th century, provided the perfect backdrop to the couple's wedding with a cheeky regal theme.

The world’s press descended on the heavily guarded gates of the historic castle in July 1999 to catch a glimpse of the Spice Girls and millionaire soccer players.

But blacked-out cars kept the marriage between pop and football royalty under wraps for the glossy page of OK magazine.

A new BBC documentary, Celebrity; A 21st Century Story, uncovers how publishing mogul, Richard Desmond, made the deal to get the million-pound pictures of the superstar couple at the Dublin estate.

Alan Edwards, David and Victoria Beckham’s publicist, told how Richard Desmond sent a Rolls Royce to whisk him across London to the OK magazine offices at 9pm one evening to seal the deal in the months before the wedding.

“We’re whizzed through London. The office is bigger than a football pitch. And then he said, ‘I've got to have the wedding’.

“I’m thinking well how much are you willing to offer and he said, ‘a million’.

“I’m, ‘A million? A million pounds?’ and I'm thinking, he doesn't know this but the best offer I've seen is 125,000 pounds.

“So, I'm remaining cool, ‘oh 1 million...’ you know, sort of like, this is great.

“Richard said, ‘there is one caveat though, you have to agree now.

“So I took the risk and said, ‘absolutely we’ll do it. We shook on it there and then.”

He reveals gingerly making the call to the Spice girl and her fiance the following morning.

“Victoria answers the phone and I said ‘Victoria I don’t know how to tell you this, I’ve just done a deal on your wedding' and there was sort of silence on the phone.

“And I said ‘yeah, yeah, a million pounds’ and I can’t remember her exact words but it was something along the lines of, ‘please tell me you said yes’.”

The documentary series examined fame over the past 20 years when a whole host of ordinary people were transformed overnight into celebrities.

The magazine editor of OK magazine, Martin Townsend, told the BBC documentary that it was the first time they had paid anywhere near a million pounds for a wedding.

“A million pounds seemed like an enormous amount of money but the figures made perfect sense. OK's calling card was always that we always featured the boy and girl next door and Posh and Becks very much fitted into that."

Their publicist Alan Edwards said the couple and their lavish Irish wedding changed perception of celebrity.

“It was a massive wedding. It was a who's who of footballers. It was the new royalty. This was a meritocracy. This is really exciting.

“Forget royal weddings, this was the royal wedding.”

Martin Townsend said the royal theme extended to the wedding with the famous thrones and a flag flying over the Dublin castle.

“Over the top of Luttrellstown Castle, they had their very own flag flying.

“It was this design, VDB, so it was Victoria and David Beckham and they had a little crown over the top.

“This is sort of came out of the fact that Richard Desmond decided he was going to turn them into the kings and queens of British celebrity, and of course Victoria absolutely loved the idea of being the queen of celebrity.”

The Beckham issue with pixie haircuts and regal matching purple outfits and thrones sold generated over six million pounds for the magazine.

“We sold about 1.7 million of those, which was unprecedented. There were literally fights in the news agents to get hold of a copy”, said Martin Townsend.

“The message was the future was going to be about the boy and girl next door.”

Celebrity: A 21st Century Story will be shown on BBC Two on December 29th at 9pm.

Online Editors


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