Ron Sheppard, 68, fell for Filipino call centre worker Cristel Marquez, who is 40 years his junior, after chatting her up online – and says she’ll be his “forever” wife.

Ron Sheppard pictured with Cristel Marquez, who is set to be his ninth bride.

The couple first met over ten years ago, when Cristel was 15 or 16 and part of a group of friends, while he was married to Wan (wife number seven) and living in Thailand.

Ron’s eighth wife Weng, 36, gave him the boot after 11 years of marriage because of his antics on a trip to the Far East in November, when he shared a bed with a young female masseuse.

He moved on and proposed to mum-of-one Cristel, 27, on New Year’s Eve and intends to adopt her seven-year-old son Miggs.

Ron said: “At first I didn’t know what came over me when I proposed.

“I’ll be honest, I thought it may have been my medication.

“People say I must be brave to have taken this on.

“Marrying a girl over 40 years younger is not brave.

“Having nine mother-in-laws – that’s bravery.”