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Old-school romance: Julie Snook and Hugo Johnstone-Burt on their 'rom-com' love story

'She didn't like me at first!'

By Amber Giles

These days, it seems rare to hear of a couple meeting face-to-face instead of through a dating app.

But just like a scene out of a rom-com, Nine News reporter Julie Snook and actor Hugo Johnstone-Burt kept it old-school when they met almost two years ago in a Sydney pub.

"It was your classic love story," Hugo tells TV WEEK. "Boy sees girl, boy has 27 beers to get up the courage to speak to girl and then slurs a few words, girl doesn't like him, boy hits her up on social media... and then the real love story started."

Hugo 'hit up' Julie on social media.
Hugo 'hit up' Julie on social media.

Many might think that because the couple both have a public profile, they needed agents and publicists to help set them up. But Hugo had a far from easy ride to get Julie to say yes to a date.

"It took months of convincing!" Julie, 30, laughs.

Watching the couple interact at our photo shoot, it's hard to imagine why it was so hard to get together.

"It was nothing to do with the fact he was an actor or anything," Julie says. "I just kept saying no."

Says Hugo: "She didn't like me at first!"

That's all in the past now. Julie admits that while she recognised him from his time in Home And Away, she knew little about his work in series such as Underbelly and Cloudstreet.

Since the couple have been together, which they think is 18 months – they can't agree on an anniversary date – Hugo, 31, has done several more projects. They include the Network Ten drama The Wrong Girl and, more recently, the biopic Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You.

It's hard to imaging Julie 'didn't like' Hugo at first.
It's hard to imaging Julie 'didn't like' Hugo at first.

We asked Julie what it was like seeing her partner kissing another woman on-screen when you're still in the early stages of a relationship.

"I can never get used to it!" she says. "Everyone will have their own ways of dealing with it. We have ours too, but I'm never going to say I enjoy it."

Hugo is quick to add: "Of all the things actors do, a kissing scene might come up once in two seasons. It's not the bulk of what I do."

Julie admits she's feeling settled both at work and at home. She and Hugo moved into a new place just days before we meet and are excited about setting up their new home.

"It's nice to have our own private little world," Julie says.

And for any family members wondering if the move signals an impending engagement, you'll just have to wait!

"We're not going to be pressured by anything, I can tell you that," Hugo smiles. "We're going to run our own race and do what's right when it's right."

Perfect match! Julie and Hugo have just moved in together.
Perfect match! Julie and Hugo have just moved in together.

Read more about Julie and Hugo's careers and plans for the future in this week's issue of TV WEEK, on sale now.

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