Catching up with OK! over Zoom before their first photoshoot as a couple, Laura Anderson and Dane Bowers couldn’t be more smitten.
Laura, the air hostess-turned-reality star, has decided to give her former boyfriend, Another Level singer Dane, a second chance after dumping him in 2018, when she found out he’d been cheating on her. Here they reveal all about their romance and plans for the future.
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Shortly after having her heart broken, Laura found fame on Love Island and Dane soon realised he’d made a mistake in letting her go.
But now living together in Dubai, with her adorable pooch Buddy, they tell us this time it’s for keeps.
“We’re talking about marriage and babies and we’d like to do that soon,” Dane, 41, says. “This is it. This is proper. This is The One.”
Laura started talking to Dane again in January when she realised they were both set to appear on the new series of MTV’s Ex On The Beach. Although she had reservations about taking him back, she’s certainly seen a change in her man this time around, telling us he makes her feel she’s “a priority”. “We’d had sex once after getting back together and he was like, ‘I love you’,” she says.
Dane, who admits he had to do a bit of grovelling to regain her trust, adds, “We’re under no illusions that there are going to be disagreements, but we’re just a bit better at dealing with them now.”
Here, the stunning couple, who look gorgeous at our exclusive shoot at the lavish FIVE Jumeirah Village hotel, open up about making a life together, having children and why they turned down the chance to appear on Ex On The Beach so they could be together…
Hi guys, you seem so happy! How did you get back together?
Laura: We’ve kept in contact on and off since I left [Dubai in 2018] and I’ve been in other relationships, but I came out here at Christmas time to see my family and then we both found out we were going to be going on Ex On The Beach. That brought us back together initially. I was like, “I’m going to have to meet up with him just to clear the air a little bit.” We met up and that’s how it started. But then I had to leave and we kept in contact and it just kind of blossomed. We decided to be together and we said, “We can’t do the show now, because it’s more important to move forward with our lives and have a normal relationship.”
Dane: It’s a funny thing to rekindle a relationship over a show called Ex On The Beach.
Laura: [Laughs] It might have happened on the show. But the show kept getting delayed and our relationship blossomed naturally.
Dane: How we got back together, it’s a bit of a cheesy thing to say, but it is a good love story really. The problem was I messed up in the first place.
Laura: I think we all know that!
Dane: I let Laura down, absolutely.
Laura: He saw me on Love Island getting my heart broken and felt sorry for me.
Dane: It was more we saw each other as friends and I was very proud of what she was doing [on Love Island]. I knew what the whole fame side was and I knew what she had to expect. I had admiration with how she dealt with it. I was very embarrassed about how I handled the situation all those years ago and I had to do a bit of grovelling and making up. It’s been a humbling thing and made me realise how much I do really love her. For her to go back to an ex after I did the bad thing, well it’s been hard for Laura to forgive. She’s put me through the wringer a bit, but she’s a very kind and giving person.
Laura: I feel like we didn’t really question it. It was like, “Shall we just live together?”
Dane hurt you pretty badly, Laura. Did you have any reservations about taking him back?
Laura: Of course. It only really worked because he made me feel like he’s really sure and put his all into it. That’s what I wanted the first time round. When I get with someone, I’m quite sure, but I knew he wasn’t and I was just trying to hold on and make it work. This time I felt a massive change and he made me feel good about myself. I didn’t think he would be capable, because it’s so difficult for a guy to admit when they’re in the wrong. And if you’re in an argument about something else, you can bring that up and they have to swallow it and he has just taken it.
Dane: I’m proud of the way I am now – I probably should have grown up before now, being in my forties. There’s been a shift, in just deciding to live with each other. We’re talking about marriage and babies and we’d like to do that soon. This is it. This is proper. This is The One. Sounds cheesy…
Laura: Well, relationships are cheesy.
Well, they certainly can be!
Dane: I never gave my all [in previous relationships], so I don’t know if I was totally in love, which is quite sad really… going through life and not being in love.
Laura: He gave me the confidence and I thought, “I must still be in love with him.” The reason I went on Love Island was because we broke up. But when I was back here and I’d see him out I was like, “Eugh.” Even though we had met up as friends and nothing sexual happened, it then switched at the start of this year and I had to think, “How do I actually feel?”
And when I was in Scotland we were FaceTiming so much, we felt our relationship come back. In person you have sex, but we had to build it without that. I never thought we’d be sitting here, but I’m over the moon that we are.
Are marriage and kids on the cards for you?
Dane: One hundred per cent. This wasn’t a light decision. We decided we wanted to be together.
Laura: There have been a lot of conversations. But marriage and having a big wedding isn’t for right now.
Dane: We’re practising with the baby bit now, though.
Laura: [Laughs] We are practising! I think we’ll probably have a baby first, now it’s not illegal to do that here
[have children before marriage in Dubai].
So you’re thinking of having kids in the next couple of years, then?
Dane: I would hope so, yes!
Laura: A couple of years?! Yes!
Dane: Babies are an imminent conversation.
Have you already got names picked out?
Laura: We’ve spoken about a name before.
Dane: There are a couple. We’re into those conversations.
Laura: Dane wants a girl and a boy.
Is there complete trust in your relationship now, Laura?
Laura: I don’t think I would have properly got back with him and moved here if I didn’t feel that. Even when we were talking in the UK, I totally trusted him. I felt like a priority and I didn’t before. You know when someone’s in love with you and you know when they’re all in. He’s so sure, he is giving me his all and every plan is about me and him and our future.
Dane: I feel very lucky that she’s giving me a chance and we’re working through it. But I still feel I have to make an
effort all the time.
Laura: We spoke about our issues.
Dane, was it hard for you, to watch Laura on Love Island?
Dane: Bits of it were. But then I was worried for her. I’d never actually watched the show and I wouldn’t unless she was on it. I was a bit of an idiot then and I’d let her go and it’s one of those… you don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone. I honestly wanted her to do well.
And you’re definitely not doing Ex On The Beach now?
Laura: It was such a good opportunity, but I’m too honest and we just couldn’t do it. We were just like, “Nah.”
Dane: Not doing that show is what’s got us together.
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What do you most admire about each other?
Dane: I’m just proud of how well she’s done. I know how hard it is being in the public eye. I’ve been doing it for years, so I know about being very famous, to not being famous and all of those ups and downs.
Laura: It’s a bit of a head f**k.
Dane: I admire the way she’s taken that on and built a life and a career out of it. She’s very driven with it, which is attractive and admirable. And it has rubbed off on me. She likes being in control, but she pushes me to do something.
Laura: I think he’s very talented and I like that he’s not big-headed. He underestimates himself, which I find quite endearing. I love his head – he’s got a great silhouette. I like the fact he’s an individual – he doesn’t look like anyone else or act or talk like anyone else. I never get bored around him and he also laughs at my jokes. I really fancy him and his hands do magical things – like cooking!
Sounds great! The trolling of celebrities in Dubai got quite bad at one point. Has it improved recently, Laura?
Laura: Yeah, when I came out over Christmas everyone got hate. I kept putting off moving back. But I kept it quiet and waited until I was here and said, “This is why I’m here.” I think people appreciated it wasn’t a snap decision, I hadn’t come here on holiday. It’s actually been quite positive and it’s easier now the UK is opening back up.
Love Island is returning to our screens this summer. Are you excited to see it come back?
Laura: I love the show and always have, that’s why I applied. I’m excited to see the new people. I think they’re going to mix it up and have bisexual Islanders on there. I hope they don’t show as much drama. It might stop any negativity and I think TV shows need to be really careful. But it changed my life and I’ve got loads of good friends from it.
Who do you keep in touch with from Love Island?
Laura: Kaz [Crossley] is probably my closest friend. But also Hayley [Hughes] and Georgia [Steel] and a lot of the girls from other seasons. I like to support them all on Instagram. I send them a DM now and again.
Would you have gone on Love Island back in the day, Dane?
Dane: I was offered the first Love Island [in 2005] which Calum Best was in. I have been offered things over the years, which I haven’t wanted to do.
Laura: He’s very shy. He told me, “I don’t really do PDAs,” but I think he’s really loving in public.
Dane: I’ve got better. I don’t like being looked at. And with Ex On The Beach I was only doing it because Laura was doing it. I felt I needed to say sorry publicly and I needed a bit of a bashing. People will talk about the cheating thing and sometimes you need a bit of a bashing for things you’ve done.
Finally, what’s next for you both?
Laura: I’m starting a clothing line that’s based in Dubai. I wanted something that’s accessible that I can sell by word of mouth over here. It’s called Not Another Dress. You have to think, “What makes me happy in life?” And clothes make me happy. And then, of course, following in Dane’s footsteps and becoming an international DJ.
Dane: The DJing is something which is coming back now, so I’ll be back to work with that. I also love cooking, so I’m launching a new catering company here in Dubai called BBQ Beats.
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