Inside ITN Nina Hossain’s romance with co-star after falling in love off air

Nina Hossain is blowing out 46 candles on her birthday cake this week, no doubt celebrating the special day with her husband and three children.

The acclaimed broadcaster has been a fixture on ITV for the past two decades, delivering the headlines each lunchtime and interviewing some of the nation's leading politicians and public figures.

To mark her birthday, Daily Star has taken a look inside her home life, living happily between London and the Midlands with her ITV star husband Stuart Thomas.

While Nina and Stuart first met at their workplace, the broadcaster insists they never had an office romance – rather, her hubby-to-be ignored her for months.

During a 2017 interview with The Express, Nina said: "Stuart didn't speak to me for the first six months I was in the building, then at an awards do we were moved next to each other and there was an instant connection."

Nina was previously married once before, walking down the aisle with Sky News editor Craig O'Hara in the 90s, only to separate after eight years together.

The leading journalist bagged a job at ITN in 2004, taking over from Mary Nightingale, who went on maternity leave at the time.

Stuart is a former editor for ITV's London Tonight regional news programme, meaning they would have run in the same circles at the network.

The TV executive has left ITV and now works as the head of the Midlands for rival network BBC, moving to the channel in 2009.

As their relationship unfolded, the couple bought a property in Nottinghamshire soon after they met, turning a stylish converted barn into a cosy family home.

They have since welcomed three children together – sons Will and Nate, and their daughter Clara.

In 2014, Nina and Stuart walked down the aisle at Newark Castle, an idyllic 12th-century fortress, with their daughter Clara designing their wedding invitations by hand.

"We met when I joined ITN in 2004 where he was a producer and we'd been together nearly a decade when he proposed," Nina told Daily Mail, describing their wedding day.

"By then we had three children and busy lives, so we opted for a handmade wedding. Clara drew this picture when she was five and we loved it so much we reproduced it for our invites.

"Afterwards, our nanny had the picture framed for us as a wedding gift."

Nina and Stuart originally wanted five children, but after experiencing a difficult delivery with their third child, the couple decided to call it a day.

Right before Nina's due date, her amniotic fluid disappeared, as she mused: "I just couldn't put myself through that again."

The couple realised three children was plenty, with Nina telling the Express: "We both wanted a big family, but I think three children qualifies – all the craziness, the squabbling, too many people for many restaurants and a great number for most board games – it all works as a fivesome.

"Perhaps if that had happened with number one I wouldn't have had any more children at all, I don't know. Nate feels like a miracle baby – you just have to quit while you're ahead."

Both passionate about running, Stuart and Nina trained together in the 2017 London marathon, teaming up to raise funds for a charity called Whizz-Kidz, which provides mobility equipment for disabled children.

"When Stuart said he was running the London Marathon this year, I decided I wasn't going to become a marathon widow – I'd join him," she said.

"I started training in January and it became an obsession."

Reflecting on the experience of training for a marathon together, Nina said their marriage "thrived" as a result of the intense workouts.

At one point, when Nina suffered an injury in the months leading up to the race, Stuart helped to nurse her back to full health while taking time off from his own regime.

Writing about the experience for ITV, she said: "It's also not my husband's job to look after me when he's battling a pause in his own training because of a troublesome ankle. But he has, and is, and I'm very grateful.

"He's not quite kind enough to agree we run the race together if we do make it to Greenwich though. I think he's secretly hoping his 3 months of training (rather than three weeks of no training) will see him through to an ok time. I guess there's part of me thinking the same."

Contrary to her high-profile job, Nina likes to keep her family life out of the limelight, spending time with her clan reading books, watching boxsets and cooking onion bhajis and Portuguese custard tarts.

"My husband would argue I never chill out properly but I work really hard at chilling out," she previously said.

The family like to travel together to Puerto Soller in Mallorca every summer, but the international lockdown naturally put any travel plans on hold.

Speaking to the Majorca Daily Bulletin in April of last year, she said: "I have to admit that some six weeks ago, when the lockdown came into force, our first thoughts were ‘what about Soller this year?' but it didn't take long for the severity of the whole situation to set in, especially once the virus had broken out here in the UK so suddenly.

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"One begins to set out new priorities, be reasonable and rationalise things."

The family spent the year back in the UK, where Nina hosted a coronavirus Q&A programme every Monday night for the first chunk of the pandemic.

"As part of an important public service provider, for the first time in my life I've put my job first," she added, reflecting on her work-life balance as one of the nation's most celebrated broadcasters.

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