Real People With Rudy: Couple bound by mutual love for dancing - WSMV News 4

Real People With Rudy: Couple bound by mutual love for dancing

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Ken and Gill Eke have been married for 47 years. (WSMV) Ken and Gill Eke have been married for 47 years. (WSMV)

Gill Eke's wedding band has never been off her finger a single second in her 47 years of marriage.

They met when she flashed a smile at Ken Eke from across the dance floor.

"I thought well, I'm gonna find out why she smiled. And I said, 'I like your smile. What are you doing this weekend? Nothing?'" Ken said.

And that's how this love affair between Ken and Gill began back in England in 1966.

Their love is bound together by a mutual love for dancing.

Ken danced at Buckingham Palace before the queen when he was just 15 years old.

"I remember I was in a white jacket and black pants and tie, and very nervous," Ken said.

By the time he met Gill, they were both polished performers with a popular Latin American dance group that appeared on a weekly televised dance show.

"I loved his strong lead and always loved dancing with him," Gill said.

"And we fell in love with each other dancing, and we soon became partners," Ken said.

The pinnacle of their career came in 1967 when they appeared in a movie with The Beatles at the height of "Beatlemania."

"Yes, it was 'The Magical Mystery Tour,' and we were dancing towards the end of the movie," Gill said. "We spent a weekend with them with the other dancers."

"We played cards together. It was wonderful," Ken said.

The couple says Paul McCartney was really funny, but John Lennon kept more to himself. Meanwhile, Ringo Starr was pretty unique.

"He was somewhere in space, but it was an incredible experience," Ken said.

But life changes. They married, and Ken became a hugely successful inventor. He developed a combination cooker that revolutionized the microwave business.

Eventually, the couple moved to the U.S., but in a cruel twist, Ken was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1976, which slowly tore away dancing - the other love of his life.

Ken still misses being able to dance.

"Whenever we put music on here at home, I watch Gill. She's up there dancing on her own, with an imaginary partner," he said. "I miss it a lot, a lot."

But, despite today's challenges, Ken has no regrets.

"I think if I had my life over again, I'd do the same," he said.

"He's always said if anyone in the family should have MS, he's pleased it's him and not the rest of the family," Gill said.    

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