Stephen Moyer proposed because he didn't want to refer to Anna Paquin as his "girlfriend" forever.

The 'True Blood' actor - who plays vampire Bill Compton in the TV series - admits he decided to propose to the TV beauty earlier this month because it would be "ridiculous" to call her his girlfriend in the distant future.

Stephen - who has two children, Billy, 10 and Lilac, eight, from previous relationships, but has never been married - said: "It got to the point where I just was thinking, 'You are calling somebody who you intend to stay with for the rest of your life your girlfriend'.

"That's what I've called everybody I've ever been with - and that's not to say that those relationships weren't important, because they were. I've got two amazing kids.

"So I felt like it should be something more than that. I felt like she should have a title, so I could joke and say 'the missus' and make lots of wife gags."

The 40-year-old star also revealed that nobody was more shocked by his proposal than the 28-year-old beauty.

Joking that Anna needed medical attention after the proposal, he added: "I should have got the St. Johns Ambulance crew when I did it. She thought that it was something that I was never going to do."