“Surprise me,” she said. “Let your imagination run wild.”
It’s been nearly a year since Clark Hud heard those words. £14,000, a missing ring finger, one dead dog and a funeral later, Hello Magazine‘s Sandy Loy meets the star of what’s been billed the most unlucky episode of Don’t Tell the Bride yet.
“We’d always been an adventurous couple,” says Clark as he polishes off the last of his Roast Beef Monster Munch. “But this was one adventure we bit off more than we could chew.” Clark chuckles at his pun, before looking at the space his ring finger used to occupy.
I quickly change the subject and ask him why they applied for Sky 1‘s wedding reality show.
“A free wedding,” he says, almost staring a hole through me. “Not only did she… we like to do stuff none of our friends had ever done, I… we were chuffing skint. Proper, proper skint. Penelope’s thirst to get up to mischief meant by the time I proposed, we had nothing. But she wasn’t prepared to wait around.”
So this was Penelope’s decision, I ask. “Everything was Penelope’s decision! I mean, well I was intrigued by it, but I was also up for getting a steady job to save up for a traditional wedding. Before I could suggest that, I was in front of TV people making up nonsense about the theme of our wedding and what kind of dress I thought she’d like.
“Since being in the show I’ve spoken to fellow survivors and they all said their bride completely briefed them beforehand. ‘Surprise me,’ she said. ‘Let your imagination run wild.’”
Clark begins to well up. “I tried my best. Her dad always had pitbull’s growing up. Of course he did. He said they were easy to train. I swear, I swear I’d heard her say she always wanted some at her wedding. I’d spent all of the money at that point. It was the producer that found the ‘trainer.’”
I hand Clark a tissue as he scoffs, blows his nose and rubs his stump. “I was happy for them just to be at the door, or something, you know? But there’s just so many decisions to make. Flower colours. Honeymoon destination. Stag and Hen parties. Guest list. Chair covers. Chair covers? You barely seem them when a fat arse is on them.
“I never expected them to be the ring bearers. By the time Penelope was walking down the aisle, it was too late. I don’t blame my ushers, but I’m confident I could’ve held on to the chains tighter than they did. She… she should’ve kept the veil on.”
Clark erupts into tears and leaves the room, yelling: “Pitbull’s hate sudden movements. She knew that!”
Don’t Tell the Bride producers were unavailable for comment, but have previously rejected all claims of manslaughter.
The murder case of Penelope Rich continues.
Return next week as Sandy Loy speaks to controversial pitbull breeder, Barry Muttdance.
© Carl Burkitt 2017
Brief by Daisy Vickers: “Surprise me. Let your imagination run wild.”
This piece was written as a part of a fundraising project for Rethink Mental Illness, where I’m inviting people to set me any writing brief in exchange for donations.