P.p.popping the question!

Seventy four penguins witnessed a poolside proposal when Grant Lucas p.p.popped the question to his true love, Hayleigh Valentine.

Grant, from Raunds in Northamptonshire, went down on one knee to ask Hayleigh to marry him in front of the huddle of Humboldts at Dudley Zoo – and we’re delighted to report she said yes!

The 27-year-old leisure centre manager had booked the meet and greet penguin experience so he could ask his 26-year-old girlfriend to become his wife while surrounded by her favourite animals.

Senior Bird Keeper Ben Vanes was there to capture the magical moment on camera when Grant took the nursery school room leader by surprise in Penguin Bay.

And Grant and Hayleigh, who have been together for two years, have an exciting year in prospect as they are expecting their first child in 10 weeks and will get married afterwards.

Grant said: “We haven’t set a date for the wedding yet but I’m over the moon Hayleigh said yes.

“I was quite nervous beforehand but Ben was really great, taking his time to tell us about the penguins and creating a relaxed atmosphere.

“I had chosen the ring and took it with me and when she said yes Ben produced some flowers and champagne, which we’ll be putting on ice until after the baby’s born.

“It couldn’t have gone any better and Ben and everyone we dealt with at the zoo helped make it a very special occasion.”

Congratulations Hayleigh and Grant!