The morning his partner Nicola Bulley vanished already ‘felt different’, according to Paul Ansell in a television interview on Friday night. As part of Channel 5’s Vanished: Where is Nicola Bulley?, Mr Ansell told Dan Walker things has been unusually peaceful.
Ms Bulley vanished while walking her springer spaniel dog Willow alongside the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27. In the interview, Walker asked Paul whether the morning “was a normal one”.
The dad-of-two said: “Yeah totally normal, the only difference that morning was, you know usually, when you’ve got children, getting up on a school day. You probably know yourself is just mayhem isn’t it. Absolute carnage.
“And you know, we’re always up a little bit too late sometimes and trying to get them to have their breakfast and sort all that out and then do their hair.
“The only difference on that morning two weeks ago was that there wasn’t a lot of rushing. I came down and a lot of stuff was already done. ” The girls were having their breakfast and everything was pretty much ready to go. I came down, Nikki went upstairs to get ready.
“The routine is basically if Nikki is taking the girls and Willow, when I hear her come down, I’ll get them in the car. It’s a well-oiled machine normally. And if it’s my job usually the roles were reversed.”
Mr Ansell said he wants to keep “all options open” about her disappearance. He said: “We’ve always been very careful that we don’t want to say, ‘oh, we think it’s that’, and then push that when it might not be. The most obvious thing, of course has always been the river. It’s always been my gut instinct and her sisters, and family that, that isn’t the case. Extensive searching, as you know is probably well aware has gone on in that river.”
Despite a huge search of the river and surrounding countryside by Lancashire Police, no trace of her has been found. Speaking about his partner, Mr Ansell went on: “She is fun. She is loving. If you’re friends with her, she’s the most loyal friend that you could ever have. With Nikki, what you see is what you get. There’s no hidden, nothing’s hidden. You know, it’s all. That’s, that’s her. And she is an exceptional mum and she absolutely adores our girls. And goes above and beyond.”
He added: “She’s just a pillar of strength to our family and without her, the hole is bigger than you can possibly imagine.”