Their Big Fat Israeli-Spanish Wedding

Assi Azar, host of Israeli TV hits Big Brother and Rising Star describes the moment he met his future husband, Albert Escolà.

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Assi Azar, the witty host of Israeli reality TV shows Big Brother and Rising Star, insists that his husband Albert Escolà, a Spanish architect, is misremembering things: “No, you weren’t lying down,” Azar says. “You were standing up!” “I was not,” Escolà counters.

The pair are bantering about the evening they spotted each other at the rooftop pool of a gay hotel in Barcelona. It was the last night of Azar’s stay at the queer lodge, where he jokes that “everyone was so ugly,” when his eyes scoped out “a young Antonio Banderas. He was standing there, gorgeous, smoking, pretending to model,” Azar wisecracks. “Basically, he wanted me to notice him.”

After four mojitos, Azar approached Escolà in the nearby bar with what he calls “a cliché of a cliché”: “I told him that he was the most handsome guy at the pool,” he remembers with a cringe. Escolà was flattered but had a boyfriend at the time. Plus, Barcelona, where Escolà resided, is 2,000 miles away from Azar’s home in Tel Aviv.

Over the next three months, however, a platonic friendship developed between them via WhatsApp and Facebook, culminating in Azar’s return to Escolà’s homeland. Newly single, Escolà was ready to make a new start with Azar, and the two kissed for the first time on their first official date. “I remember calling a friend of mine,” Azar says, “and telling her, ‘Wow, I think that this is going to be serious. I will fight for this one.’ By the way,” he jokes, “as I am telling you this, Albert is yawning.”

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