BRITAIN’S first gay surrogate parents have announced they will be getting married – and have invited fellow gay dad Elton John to the wedding.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his partner Tony, who run the Maldon-based British Surrogacy Centre, are already civil partners, but have decided to get married after the same-sex marriage bill was passed in July.
Practising Christian Mr Drewitt- Barlow, 44, had hoped to get married in his local church in Danbury and launched a legal challenge in August after he was barred from doing so.
Now, he has turned his back on the plan and instead intends to tie the knot at Pontlands Park hotel, in Great Baddow, on March 29.
Not one to do things out of the limelight, the pair have invited a host of celebrities to the 200-guest wedding, including A-lister Elton, who they know through surrogacy, and singer Ricky Martin.
Former professional footballer Neil “Razor” Ruddock will make an appearance as Tony’s best man and the Only Way is Essex stars Amy Childs and Chloe Sims will make up some of the ten bridesmaids.
Barrie has signed a contract with a national magazine preventing him talking to other media.
But Kirsty Maguire, project manager at the British Surrogacy Centre, in Chandlers Quay, Maldon, said: “Invitations were sent out this week and we haven’t got all the requests back, so we don’t know if Elton John is coming yet.
“Most of the Towie lot have been invited as Barrie and Tony are good friends with them all.
“The wedding will be very pink and very Essex. The preparations are going really well and everyone is very excited.”