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Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
'I love her, yeah', says Sir Paul
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
The couple prefer not to look too far into the future
Sir Paul McCartney has for the first time publicly declared his love for model Heather Mills.

The former Beatle said "Yeah, I love her" on a television programme being screened in the UK on Sunday.

He also reveals how he arranged charity meetings so he could meet up with his love.

Heather, 32, who lost part of her left leg when she was hit by a police motorbike, is the subject of an ITV Stars And Their Lives show presented by Carol Vorderman at 1850 BST.

I thought `wow she looks great'

Sir Paul McCartney
She had resolved not to discuss her year-long relationship with the millionaire musician, who has been largely silent about his love life since his wife, Linda, died of cancer.

But he secretly arranged to appear as a surprise guest and that was when the programme heard of his intimate feelings.

The 58-year-old singer-songwriter admitted that he had pursued Heather.

He first saw her at a ceremony during which he presented an award for courage and appealing for help with her charity, The Heather Mills Trust, which provides limbs for landmine victims around the world.

He recalled: "When I saw her at that award show I thought 'wow she looks great'.

"A very beautiful, true, fine woman. That was the first impression and then when I heard her speak I was very impressed.

"So I found out her telephone number - like you do - and rang her up and said we should talk about some charity stuff and I like what you're doing."

It didn't enter my head that he fancied me

Heather Mills
He said their first couple of meetings were very "prim and proper", and he admitted to "playing it cool" initially.

Heather told the TV programme: "I thought he was very cute but it didn't enter my head that he fancied me.

"At the end of one of the last meetings I got into a lift and just felt these eyes in my back.

"I turned round and saw him peeping round a corner. I said `I think you're eyeing up my bum'."

Sir Paul admitted: "I was!"

Heather told Carol Vorderman on the ITV show: "I love him."

He replied: "On national telly?"

Heather added: "You started it. I was going to say nothing tonight about it."

Sir Paul replied with a smile: "Yeah, I love her."

He said the couple will not allow negative stories written about their relationship affect them.

Heather said: "When I hear people criticising us, I feel sorry for them because I think life is so short and we're here to do good for others."

"We live for today. That's all we've got."

See also:

07 Nov 99 | Entertainment
McCartney denies love affair
10 May 00 | Entertainment
Sir Paul's landmine crusade
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