Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s secrets to happy marriage that’s seen them ‘parted for over a third of it’

They're approaching nine years of marriage in 2024

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Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright have been blissfully married for almost nine years – but, during that time, they’ve spent a lot of it apart.

The couple have both had successful careers. But this has meant they’ve had to spend months apart since marrying in 2015. With Michelle spending months in South Africa while Mark lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years, the pair have had to navigate long-distance.

But they’ve made it work and still remain happily loved-up. So, how long have they spent apart since getting married and how do they keep the romance alive?

Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan at the NTAs
Mark and Michelle have been married since 2015 (Credit Photo Zak Hussein/

Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan marriage

Michelle and Mark married in May 2015 at St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds. This year, they will mark their nine-year anniversary.

But the couple have been open about spending a lot of their marriage apart due to work. Just one year into their marriage, Michelle spent months away in South Africa as she filmed BBC’s Our Girl.

Michelle played the role of Georgie Lane from series two to series four (2016 to 2020). However, Michelle said that filming for one series meant she was away from home for eight months.

Speaking on the Jonathan Ross show in 2021, Michelle said of her proudest role: “I’d say Our Girl just because I was away from home for a long time. One of the seasons I did I was living away for eight months. I was in Nepal, Malaysia, South Africa. I had a great time, I was lucky, but it was hard to be away from home.”

However, Michelle only spent two months away filming for her first series of Our Girl. But she revealed in 2016 that Mark came to visit her during that time.

Meanwhile, after signing up to another series of the show, Michelle spent four months away from home to film series three in Cape Town.

In 2020, Michelle stepped down from the BBC series and admitted it was “a very hard decision to make not to return”.

Michelle Keegan in Our Girl
Michelle spent months away from home for Our Girl (Credit: BBC)

Mark Wright’s stint in America

In 2017, while Michelle was busy with Our Girl, Mark landed a role hosting in America. He became the host of entertainment news show EXTRA from 2017 to 2019.

Of course, the role meant he had to live in Los Angeles for a two years. Mark previously said on Loose Women that he struggled when he didn’t see Michelle for up to six weeks when he first moved there.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Mark admitted he became “lonely” just months into his move across the pond. He told The Sun: “I was living in the hills, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills – life was great, so I thought. Four, five months in, I sat back and I was a bit lonely, I wasn’t that happy, and obviously I went there to get a better job and to get more money as we say. And I was without my wife, who wasn’t living there because she couldn’t.”

But the couple didn’t spend the entire two years apart. Michelle was spotted travelling to Los Angeles during Mark’s two-year stint. The pair enjoyed plenty of quality time together as they explored Hollywood.

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Michelle on filming in Australia for Ten Pound Poms

In 2022, Michelle spent months away from home again as she filmed Ten Pound Poms in Australia.

She told Fearne Cotton’s My Happy Place podcast last month that she was away from Mark for two months before he joined her for six weeks.

She’s recently signed up for another series of the hit show, reprising the role of Kate Thorne, meaning she could be set to spend six months apart from Mark.

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright at the Global Stars Awards
Michelle and Mark said they tried to see each other every three weeks during their time apart (Credit Photo Grant Buchanan/

How Michelle and Mark make it work

So with so many months apart from each other, how do Mark and Michelle keep their relationship going strong?

Last month, during Fearne’s podcast, Michelle gushed over her and Mark’s relationship. She said: “I think just being friends and having that relationship. I think we are really lucky where if I go up north, he comes with me if he can and same when I go down south.”

Mark previously told Loose Women that he got advice from Piers Morgan about long-distance during his US stay. He said: “Piers said to me, ‘I had this with my wife when I first moved to LA, and we made a rule – a three-week rule. The minute it goes over that, it starts to become more difficult and then the pressure is on to see each other.'”

On this matter, Michelle once told You magazine: “We try not to spend more than three weeks apart, although the longest we’ve gone is six weeks which was really difficult.”

The couple have also mentioned how they would regularly FaceTime each other when working away. Mark also stressed during an appearance on Lorraine in 2018 that distance keeps things fresh.

He added at the time: “While we’re young and we’re both conquering our dreams – I’m out there trying to make something happen, she’s around the world acting, and we’re still so in love and so happy. It’s perfect.”

Read more: Mark Wright says his ‘dreams would be shattered’ amidst Michelle Keegan career speculation

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)

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