Mary Portas marries partner Melanie Rickey

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Retail guru Mary Portas has become of the first people to convert her civil partnership to a marriage.

Ms Portas – known for presenting a range of retail TV shows – has been in a civil partnership with Melanie Rickey since 2010.

She surprised her partner with an impromptu wedding last night, as the first conversions from civil partnerships to marriages began.

The pair were one of the first couples to convert as the law came into effect in England and Wales, at 12:01AM at Westminster Registry Office.

She told PA the ceremony was “magical”, adding: “We have three children together and there is such a deep rooted commitment to being married, it just felt right.

“Our last ceremony was very different, with a much wider extension of friends and family.”

Ms Rickey added: “I thought we were out looking for art galleries but when we started driving up and down the same street a couple of times I started getting a bit suspicious.

“When we turned up outside Westminster City Hall I guessed what was going on.

“I couldn’t think of a better surprise.”

The TV star posted a picture of the impromptu ceremony on Instagram.

Just about to marry Melanie. Westminster town hall. At midnight!

A photo posted by Mary Portas (@maryportasofficial) on

Weddings and conversions are set to become legal in Scotland later this month.

Northern Ireland has no plans to introduce same-sex marriage, and will treat married couples as if they were in a civil partnership.