A South Shields mum created a bit of a stir when she entered a radio competition to find couples where one of the pair was ‘punching above their weight’ earlier this year.
Andrea Bedlington stunned bosses at Metro Radio when she turned up at the station with her husband Andrew’s ashes.
The 36-year-old decided to enter the contest, which offers the prize of a holiday, as a tribute to her late husband, who she always believed was better looking than she was.
Sadly she was disqualified when it was discovered that Andrew passed away in 2013, but presenters Steve and Karen were so moved by her story, that they decided to send Andrea and her daughters, Shannon, 19, and Chloe, 11, on a sunshine break anyway.
The trio have just returned from Majorca where they enjoyed a week of shopping, scuba diving and sun bathing.
Andrea said: “It was amazing. We’d been looking forward to it for so long but it didn’t seem real until the moment we got on the plane.
It was the memorial of Andrew’s death on October 14, and also Chloe’s 19th birthday, so it would have been a horrible day for us, so we were so pleased when Metro said we’d be away then. It made the day bearable and really special for Shannon – we even went scuba diving to celebrate.Andrea Bedlington
“It was the memorial of Andrew’s death on October 14, and also Chloe’s 19th birthday, so it would have been a horrible day for us, so we were so pleased when Metro said we’d be away then. It made the day bearable and really special for Shannon – we even went scuba diving to celebrate.
“Last year was the first anniversary of Andrew’s death and Chloe’s 18th birthday and it was just awful for her, but thanks to this holiday, we got to leave things behind a bit and really enjoy her birthday.”
Andrew passed away at the age of 41 from an accidental overdose on prescription medication. He was taking morphine to ease the pain of osteoarthritis in his lower back and knees.
But Andrea, who is studying accountancy at South Tyneside College, and the girls made sure he was there with them as they sunned it up in Majorca.
Andrea said: “We took him with us. We’ve all got necklaces with some of his ashes in so he was there with us the whole time.
“I was going to take his urn but I was really worried about it causing issues at Customs and about the thought of our luggage going missing and losing him, but this way, we were able to take him everywhere we went.
“We’re just so grateful to Metro Radio and to Steve and Karen for giving us this holiday. It was amazing. The hotel was beautiful, I don’t know how it only had four-and-a-half stars and the food was beautiful as well.
“It was all inclusive so we ate so much, drank champagne and just really enjoyed ourselves. We went shopping and lazed around by the pool. It was exactly what we needed at such a tough time.
“It was just wonderful and we’re so thankful.”
Metro Radio station director, Dom Munnelly, said: “All of the staff at Metro Radio were moved by Andrea’s story and the effort she made to try and win the competition.
“We all agreed that it would be wonderful if we could reward her and the girls with a holiday in the sun. They were so grateful when we told them they were off to Majorca and to hear that they had a really good time is great news.”