Story and video from SWNS
A couple who were paired together on Married At First Sight and went on to get engaged when their episode was cancelled have proved they are a perfect match - by welcoming a baby girl together.
Ally Acklan, 36, and Paul Todd, 33, were due to appear on the reality TV show in March 2020 but their nuptials were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in the UK.
Taking matters into his own hands, Paul, a train driver, was determined to meet the woman he had been paired with - and, having only known her first name, he begged the producers for her details.
He then reached out to Ally, a medical insurance manager, and the pair quickly hit it off.
In September 2020, Ally moved from Worthy, West Sussex, to Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, to officially move in with Paul and in June 2021 Paul proposed at their local beach.
In October 2020, Ally fell pregnant with their first child - a little girl named Penelope - who arrived on 3rd July 2021 at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol, weighing 8lbs 1oz.
The loved up pair say they are on cloud nine after welcoming their new arrival and they plan to tie the knot in 2023 with their daughter as their flower girl.
Ally said: "Paul and I were made for each other.
"There's no doubt that the Married at First Sight team got it spot on.
"From the moment we started chatting to each other it was obvious we were a perfect match.
"It's all been a bit of a whirlwind - meeting, falling in love, getting engaged and falling pregnant - but we are just so happy.
"Having our little girl, Penelope, has just been the icing on the cake.
"As soon as I saw her I was in love.
"It was a traumatic birth but so worth it.
"Holding her in my arms for the first time was such a surreal feeling.
"I've grown a mini Paul- they look exactly the same.
"I think she has my feet and that's about it."
Paul said: "It's been such a whirlwind but feels so right.
"It's all meant to be and we're settling in as a family."
Ally and Paul we're due to appear on the popular TV show Married at First Sight but had their wedding cancelled three days before before it was due to take place - due to a strict lockdown coming into force in the UK.
Desperate to find out if Ally was the one, Paul pressed the producers to let him know who she was and the couple met and fell for each other instantly after connecting over Skype.
They met up in the flesh when restrictions eased and went from strength to strength - revealing they were pregnant in February 2021.
The couple welcomed little Penelope on 3rd July weighing 8lbs 1oz at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol.
Ally said: "It was quite a traumatic birth but thankfully Paul was with me the whole time.
"When they put her on me for skin-to-skin contact, I just thought: 'Wow, this little being has just been inside my tummy and now she's here.'
"After she was born I got an infection, and it was hard because then Paul could only come in a couple of hours a day."
Thankfully Ally recovered well and the family were able to come home on 7th July 2021.
"Penelope's a very long baby," Ally said.
"But she's gorgeous.
"We're so in love with her."
The family have now started to settle in, and little Penelope has bonded with their dog, Ozzy, a miniature labradoodle, and has met some friends and family already.
"Everyone who sees her just says she looks like a mini Paul," Ally said.
"But I'm happy with that because he's handsome.
"She's a prettier Paul and doesn't have a beard."
Penelope has started laughing and is a very happy baby.
"We've taken her to the beach," Ally said.
"And she's doing really well."
Paul said: "It's such a blessing that Penelope has come along.
"We're just taking every day as it comes and loving being parents."
Paul proposed to Ally just before Penelope's arrival by getting down on one knee at a picnic at the beach in June 2021.
"It was a lovely day and I just thought: 'This is the moment,'" Paul said.
Ally said: "I didn't expect it all.
"I was so surprised."
But the couple don't plan on getting married too soon as they want to enjoy their time with Penelope and hope to go on a family holiday next year first.
"We'd like to go to somewhere like Egypt first and settle in as a family," Ally said.
"Then we'll think about the wedding.
"For now we're just enjoying being with Penelope."
Follow the couple on Instagram at @unseen_couple