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Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 19:08 GMT
Collins' marriage joy
Percy Gibson and Joan Collins
The couple pose for the press
Actress Joan Collins says her husband-to-be Percy Gibson is the "most wonderful human being" she had ever met.

The 68-year-old performer is marrying Percy Gibson, 36, at a London ceremony in February.

She told reporters on the steps of her home in Belgravia, central London, it was the Peruvian-born theatrical manager's Latin charm which had persuaded her to marry for a fifth time - after saying she would never tie the knot again.

Percy Gibson and Joan Collins
A kiss for the cameras
"I changed my mind- it is a woman's prerogative," she said.

"He is a Latin American man and very persuasive. He is just the most wonderful human being I have ever known."

Age no barrier

Collins insisted the 32-year age difference would make no difference to their lives.

"I have a theory as far as love is concerned it does not have any barriers in terms of race, colour, creed, religion or gender, so why should age matter?," she said.

Gibson, who was divorced from his first wife earlier this year, said he had proposed to Collins by giving her a token ring at midnight on her birthday while they were in New York.

He told reporters: "I feel very honoured, and very happy."

Collins - whose previous husbands include late film star Anthony Newley - said Gibson "was not number five - you can't count teenage marriages" - a reference to her four-year marriage at 18 to Maxwell Reed.

She said of Gibson: "I hope he is the one, the last one."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rosie Millard
"Miss Colliins has warned her fiance to expect a roasting from the press"
See also:

18 Dec 01 | Showbiz
Husband number five for Collins
23 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Joan Collins shuns nude role
16 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Stars mourn 'consummate performer' Newley
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