'And I said YES!' Holly Valance to wed billionaire boyfriend Nick Candy

By Emily Sheridan and Ben Todd

Loved up: Holly Valance and Nick Candy, pictured at the Strictly Come Dancing party last Friday, are engaged

Australian singer/actress Holly Valance is ecstatic after her billionaire boyfriend Nick Candy asked her to marry him.

The property tycoon, 38, got down on one knee on a beach in the Maldives with the words 'Will you marry me' written in fire.

He had whisked her away to the Indian ocean island on Wednesday for a Christmas break, following the finale of Strictly Come Dancing last weekend.

Uploading a photo of the intimate moment on her Twitter page, an excited Valance, 28, wrote: 'And I said YES!!! ♥ Happiest day of my life!!!!! Xxxx.'

A close friend revealed: ‘They are a really lovely couple and are so happy together. We couldn’t be happier for them.’

Among those to congratulate the couple was Valance's presenter friend Lisa Snowdon, who tweeted: 'Congratulations!'

Rather tellingly, in an interview published just days ago, Candy was rather coy when it came to marriage.

Romantic: The billionaire got down on one knee on the beach on the couple's Christmas holiday

When asked about marrying Valance, he told Today Online: 'I always get asked that. No comment.'

The couple started dating in late 2009 after meeting at a mutual friend's dinner party.

Recalling their meeting in an interview last year, she said: 'I didn’t know anything about him. I just thought "Cor, if I didn’t fancy you so much, we’d be the best of friends. Instead, I just want to make out with you all the time."'

They soon moved in together last year and have become regulars on the London society scene.

During Valance's recent appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, supportive Candy was often seen on screen cheering her on from the audience.

Big announcement: Valance revealed her engagement on her Twitter page

Last year, Valance admitted being in love with a billionaire sometimes irked her friends.

She said: 'I've got such a disgusting, wide, smug grin on my face all the time that my friends just want to slap me. I’ve never been so happy...

'I am a spoilt brat. My friends and my sister say: "I hate you!" when I show them what he’s bought me.'

The couple's Christmas holiday comes after they spent last weekend in Blackpool for the Strictly Come Dancing final.

However, while the majority of the cast and crew went up to Blackpool in a coach, Candy took Valance and her fellow competitor Nancy Dell'Olio up north in his private jet.

Dancing queen: Valance and Artem Chigvintsev ended up in fourth place in this year's Strictly Come Dancing

Melbourne-raised Valance leaped to fame in 1999 when she was cast as Felicity 'Flick' Scully in Australian soap Neighbours.

In 2002, she quit the Aussie soap to move to London, where she signed a record deal with London Records.

She released four singles over a 12 month period and scored a number one hit with her debut Kiss Kiss, a cover of a Turkish pop song.

After poor sales of her second album State of Mind, Holly parted ways with London Records and returned to acting, taking roles in DOA: Dead or Alive, National Lampoon's Pledge This! and Miss Marple.

Prior to dating Candy, she also romanced Hawaii 5-0 actor Alex O'Loughlin and Peter Veveris.

Family ties: Holly and Nick with his brother Christian and his wife Emily at the opening of One Hyde Park earlier this year

Meanwhile, Mr Candy – along with his brother Christian and their firm Candy & Candy – has become one of Britain’s most successful luxury property developers.

Astonishingly, he and Christian turned a £6,000 loan from their grandmother in 1995 into a £9billion global property portfolio.

Their most famous development is the One Hyde Park: The Residences which link to the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, South West London. This development boasts the country’s most expensive apartment, the penthouse which sold for £136million earlier this year.

In September, Mr Candy – who has opulent homes in London and Monaco as well as a private plane and a £50million super-yacht - was named entrepreneur of the year by GQ magazine.

Double life: A young Valance in her soap star days with Neighbours co-star Carla Bonner (left) and performing her debut single Kiss Kiss in London in 2002 (right)

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