How We Met: Charles Worthington & Emilia Fox

'There was something on the menu that sounded rude, so of course she had to order it'

Emilia Fox, 37

The daughter of the actors Edward Fox and Joanna David, Fox made her debut in the 1995 BBC TV series 'Pride and Prejudice' and has since appeared on stage, in film and in numerous TV dramas. She is best known for her role in 'Silent Witness'. She lives in London.

I met Charles four or five years ago, thanks to my hair – as we met to discuss my appearing in an advertising campaign for his haircare brand. My hair is often a total disaster, so I met him with some trepidation, convinced that when he saw me in real life he would call the whole thing off. In fact, it went fine and he made my hair look beautiful. But, more importantly, I made a friend in Charles and another in his partner Allan, both of whom I think I will have for life.

Charles had flown in from the South of France and seemed impossibly glamorous, but from the moment you speak to him you realise he is one of the most down-to-earth men you will meet. We laughed the whole day. It was my birthday and when I arrived home that night I found Charles had sent me an orchid with a thank-you note.

What followed were invitations to Charles and Allan's beautiful homes in England and France, where they are the best hosts. They have amazing suppers in December, which always mark the start of Christmas for me, and a party for their friends' children once a year. It's the kind of fairy-tale affair you dream of as a child – pony rides and ice-cream vans.

I've spent long weekends in the South of France with Charles and I love the way he treats entertaining – the way he enjoys company and food and dressing up for supper. There is a lovely etiquette to it.

Loyalty is very important to Charles. He and Allan see you through the bad times as well as the good, with immense care and thoughtfulness. They love my daughter Rose and it feels as though they have been part of her life from the moment she was born, which makes our relationship all the stronger.

Charles and Allan are an example – and I have few of them – of what love should be. How hard work and success can be enjoyed alongside love and friendship and family. If I died tomorrow I would say I've had some of the best times of my life with Charles. And all thanks to my hair, which is pretty strange really.

Charles Worthington, 52

Twice named British Hairdresser of the Year, Worthington has been in the industry for more than 25 years and has created red-carpet looks for celebrities at the Baftas and Oscars; his clients have included Sharon Stone and Jerry Hall. He has three London salons and was awarded an MBE in 2006. He lives in London.

I was looking for somebody to represent my haircare brand and I'd always thought of Emilia as a beautiful, classic English rose, with a lovely calm quality that was perfect. We hunted her down, I got to meet her, we instantly clicked and in a very short period I felt I knew her well.

She really doesn't know how beautiful she is, inside and out, and that's probably one of her most charming qualities. She is very understated. But she has a wonderful aura around her that means that when she enters a room, even if people don't know she is Emilia Fox, which most people do, there is something around her that is quite magical.

Socially, she is a dream, as she is so adaptable. She has a selfless fascination with others that charms everyone. We had a lovely dinner party out in France once – some of my neighbours there are Joan Collins, Jerry Hall and Tracey Emin. I got them all over together, a very eclectic crowd, all strong characters. Emilia hit it off with every one of them.

Once you meet Emilia you don't forget her, and often if I introduce her to my other friends in a group of people, she'll be the first one that they comment upon and say how lovely she is.

She loves a big belly laugh. It might be a very silly double entendre that sets us off. We were having dinner at Scott's [in Mayfair] and there was something on the menu that just sounded incredibly rude, so of course Emilia had to order it. The waiter had no idea what was going on but we were all falling about. Every time he appeared she would pull herself together and slip in another double meaning with a straight face. We left with cramp from all the laughter. It's silly but it's lovely to catch a moment like that together.

Emilia has a real love of life and embraces it on a daily basis, which I love, because living in the present and enjoying it has always been my philosophy, too. I think that's a big part of why we get on so well. We are both very attentive to what's around us – Emilia will walk into my home and notice a tiny detail about the flowers or something and I love that because it shows that she lives very much in the now.

Charles Worthington's Limited Edition Bafta and 25th Anniversary Collection is in stores now ( Emilia Fox stars in the new series of 'Silent Witness', which returns to BBC1 this spring