John is a Sessional Registrar here at The Old Marylebone Town Hall, a career he was lead to after coming to the town hall to film ‘Births Deaths and Marriages’ and then taking part in the BBC documentary ‘Gay. Married and Legal’, where he and his partner became the first same sex couple to get married in the UK, exactly 5 years ago today. 

In John’s own words: I was lucky enough to get a job as a Producer Director on one of ITV’s big summer documentary projects back in 2013 – ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ which celebrated the work of the Registrars in Westminster. I was drawn in through the lens of my camera into the diverse lives of the people who came through the doors of the Register Office and The Old Marylebone Town Hall as they took some of the most important steps in their lives. We filmed some of the most moving moments of my television career as people married each other, registered a birth or said goodbye to a loved one.

One year later the law changed and I was able to marry my partner of five years in the first civil same sex marriage in the UK and we said I Do, at the Mayfair Library. I had stayed in touch with the Registrars and we had decided we would indeed be the very first through careful planning. Unbeknownst to the competition in Brighton, who were in the same race to be first, we started the ceremony at ten to midnight on the 28th March and said the legal words (which actually made us married) the moment the clock struck midnight on the 29th March – so we were officially the first couple to be married, and within the first minute of the first day it became possible for same sex couple to marry. Yeah!

I loved the experience so much I didn’t buy the T shirt – I got a job. I now work for the Registration service – not looking down the lens of a camera but across the desk registering births and marriages – and the people who come through our doors still endlessly fascinate. It’s a great job.


To see some behind the scenes clips of John in the BBC documentary 'Gay, Married and Legal' click here.


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