Shorty St wedding gets royal treatment

ROB KIDD
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2014
Mr Vintage’s marketing manager Jay Govind
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
LIFT YOUR .... MUGS: Mr Vintage’s marketing manager Jay Govind shows off his mementos for the Shortland St wedding between Dr Chris Warner and Rachel McKenna.
Shortland Street wedding
Supplied
BIG DAY: Shortland St wedding photo of Dr Chris Warner and Rachel McKenna, played by Michael Galvin and Angela Bloomfield.

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Make way Kate and William, there's only one royal couple as far as Kiwis are concerned.

When serial philanderer Dr Chris Warner married Rachel McKenna on Shortland St on Wednesday - his fourth onscreen wedding - a nation wiped away a tear.

And it seems that it's not only the screen that went a little blurry but the line between fantasy and reality as well.

Usually the sole territory of royal weddings, a range of commemorative mugs, key rings and tea towels has marked the joyous occasion thanks to t-shirt store Mr Vintage.

They were sent to cast and crew members and more than 100 leftovers were thrown up online for sale.

Within hours the shelves were empty. Fortunately for the country's soap fanatics, they will be restocked soon.

The popularity of the quirky products shocked Mr Vintage's marketing manager Jay Govind.

"We weren't really sure how many would actually sell but I guess the allure of Chris Warner - the lovable rogue - is too strong. People need the merchandise," he said.

"If there's one thing we've learned it's that stuff that's current actually works better than what we thought would sell, which was the vintage stuff . . . Dr Ropata and that sort of thing."

The news of the fan frenzy had even made its way to the set of the long-running medical drama.

Michael Galvin, whose character Chris "Dr Love" Warner has had more than 20 romances and fathered six children, said it was "a little weird" to think of his face adorning memorabilia around the country but a privilege too.

"We are a little isolated out here in our West Auckland bunker so it's very nice to be reminded of how important this show is to so many people," Galvin said.

His onscreen wife, played by Angela Bloomfield, said she had given a mug to her mum who was enjoying the novelty of drinking her morning coffee from something bearing her daughter's face.

She described the whole thing as "a little surreal".

"We are definitely aware of the show's popularity, but yes, when you hear that fans have actually paid money for something that will remind them of a specific event from the show, it definitely solidifies the passion that is out there for Shorty," Bloomfield said.

But the celebratory products might become collectors' items sooner than expected, after Galvin dropped a bombshell to the Sunday Star-Times.

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When asked how married life was shaping up, he replied: "utter turmoil".

"Chris is already keeping a terrible secret and it's devouring him from the inside out," he said.

All the same, surely tea towels with an excerpt from the script's wedding scene would immortalise the couple as New Zealand silver-screen royalty.

"Definitely. For at least a week," Galvin said.

- Sunday Star Times

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