Richard Fleeshman Pulled Off A Picture-Perfect Proposal To His Long-Term Love

Even Coronation Street’s writers couldn’t have come up with this.

by Sabah Hussain and El Hunt
Originally Published: 
Richard Fleeshman and Celinde Schoenmaker in London in August, 2022
Getty Images/David M. Bennett

Actor and singer-songwriter Richard Fleeshman is best known for playing Coronation Streets Craig Harris from 2002 to 2006. As fans will remember all too well, Harris was the goth teen who entered the series under a witness protection programme, and ended up having a teen angst-filled relationship with Rosie Webster (Helen Flanagan).

After departing the hit ITV soap, the Manchester-born actor made his way onto the stage, enjoying lead roles in the West End productions of Ghost: The Musical and The Last Ship. His latest enterprise was the six-part ITV2 comedy Deep Heat, which followed a group of pals involved in pro wrestling. Protagonist Holly (Jahannah James) is fighting to be a wrestler, and Fleeshman plays her brother, Nick Nitro, who betrays the family to start his own wrestling enterprise. He also plays Ken in the long-awaited telly adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel The Sandman, which finally aired on Netflix last month after years of development.

That’s his professional life sorted, but what do we know about Fleeshman’s life away from the cameras? Well, the actor has been dating Netherlands-born model and actress Celinde Schoenmaker for the past four years. The Dutch actor has starred in stage productions of The Phantom Of The Opera and Rocketman. The pair also joined forces for a musical venture in 2020, releasing a song titled “Reason.”

And after four years together, the couple have now made plans to get hitched, with Fleeshman proposing during a holiday to South Africa and Botswana. The actor popped the question towards the end of a horseback safari, and the couple celebrated with a bottle of bubbly perched in a nearby tree.

“Went to Africa with my girl. I’ll be heading home with a fiancée,” Fleeshman wrote on Instagram, sharing the happy news alongside an artistic sunset snap. Scores of familiar faces from UK soap-land chipped in with their congratulations, including EastEnders’ Tilly Keeper (Louise Mitchell), Hollyoaks’ Nikki Sanderson (Maxine Minniver) and Coronation Street’s Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price)

“Really feeling all the love, we’re having the time of our lives. Big love to you all from me and my fiancé” Schoenmaker wrote in her own post.

Previously, Fleeshman dated actor Roxanne Pallett from 2001 to 2007. Pallett starred in Emmerdale (from 2005 to 2008) before making her way onto reality tv shows including Dancing on Ice, Celebrity Big Brother, and Celebrity Coach Trip.

In 2018, almost a decade after their split, Fleeshman made a public comment following Pallett’s conflict with his close pal, fellow Corrie actor Ryan Thomas. During a dramatic episode of Celebrity Big Brother star, Pallett accused Thomas of “punching” her, and told her fellow housemates as such. Viewers at home, along with Thomas’ friends and family, defended the star, as footage showed he had playfully shadow-boxed her. Following the incident, Fleeshman tweeted, "Here's the thing... you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Back in 2014, Fleeshman dated actor Samantha Barks, who has also enjoyed roles across the screen and stage. She played Eponine in the film adaptation of Les Miserables, for which she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and won an Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer. The pair made their red-carpet debut for Made In Dagenham in 2014, but had broken up by 2015.

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