Casualty actress Chelsea Halfpenny engaged to fellow TV star – who she's fancied since she was 14

CASUALTY'S Chelsea Halfpenny has revealed that she's marrying her teenage crush – 16 years after first meeting him.

The actress – who also played Amy Wyatt in Emmerdale – first met James Baxter aged 14 during a drama workshop.

The pair reunited at the National Television Awards in 2018 and six months later, they went on their first date – with James proposing last year.

The 30-year-old star recalled her first encounter with James, 31, nearly two decades ago.

"I really fancied him and he did not fancy me at all! He's a year older and I thought he was really cool, but I also remember thinking, 'Well, no wonder he's not interested, because he's just so much older than me!,'" she told the Mirror.

In 2010, Chelsea joined the soap playing Val and Eric Pollard's troubled foster child, she caused chaos in the village and kept the residents on their toes in a series of storylines – but in 2013, Chelsea confirmed that she was leaving The Dales.

Meanwhile, James played Arthur Thomas' half-brother Jake Doland months before Chelsea had joined the soap – so sadly their paths didn't cross.

Chelsea explained how her Emmerdale co-stars would speak about James on set.

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"I knew exactly who they meant because I remembered this gorgeous boy with the spiky hair that I fancied so much!" she said.

The pair then met again at the NTA awards in 2018 – Chelsea attended with BBC One's Casualty for her role as Alicia Munroe and James was with the Still Open All Hours crew, which stars legendary actor David Jason.

She revealed that it was James' "turn to chase her" after she spent years having a crush on him which left him surprised.

The actress announced her engagement in June and showing off her stunning ring on Instagram.

She also shared a teen throwback with new fiancé James Baxter as she admitted that he was her childhood crush.

The brunette beauty gushed: "He liked it so he went and put a friggin ring on it!!!!!!!!

"Obv changed his name to ‘FIANCÈ 💚’ immediately on my phone. Also congrats to my 14-year-old self on managing to get the boy with the spikey hair that she fancied so much. 😍🥂✨"

In the first photo, both James and Chelsea are beaming in a selfie, with the star proudly showing off her ring as she clutches onto a glass of champers.

The gold band has a stunning emerald rock, which is sparkling in the sunshine.

The second image was the throwback, with James' famous spikey hair on full display, and teen Chelsea rocking poker-straight locks with blonde highlights.

The final photo is a candid snap of the happy couple laughing together in a garden, with Chelsea clutching onto a bottle of beer.

Her Emmerdale co-stars were quick to offer their congratulations in the Instagram post's comments, with Charley Webb writing: "Basically the best news of my life".

Sammy Winward gushed: "The best news in life!!!! 💖✨

"So happy for you both. The dreamiest couple and that ring!! Actual heaven."

Chelsea joined the ITV soap as Amy in 2010, which she starred in for three years.

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