The Bay: is actress Morven Christie who plays Lisa Armstrong married?

Morven Christie stars as Lexie Noble in ITV’s ‘Payback’ and reflects on her career

The actress split from her husband in 2015

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Morven Christie is back on our TV screens as Lexie Noble in the ITV thriller Payback, and the role will once again prove she’s one of the UK’s top TV actresses.

She previously played DS Lisa Armstrong in The Bay, and fans were devastated when she left the role in 2021. Of course, she’s also well known for her roles in The A Word, Grantchester, and Hunted.

Although the actress prefers to keep her private life out of the spotlight, she was only too happy to share her happiness at finding love again after heartbreak.

Here’s everything you need to know about Payback actress Morven Christie

Lisa Armstrong and her mum Penny in The Bay
Actress Morven Christie played DI Lisa Armstrong in two series of The Bay (Credit: ITV)

Who is Morven Christie?

Morven is an actress who has been on our TV screens since her very first appearance in 2004. Back then, she made her debut as Nina in the TV film The Second Quest.

Since then, she has worked on stage, in film and in television drama. One of her most early significant roles on TV was as Rose Maylie in the adaptation of Oliver Twist in 2007.

She has subsequently gone on to appear in dozens of dramas including Death in Paradise, Silent Witness, Hunted, Doctor Who and Twenty Twelve.

How old is she?

Morven was born on September 1 1981, in Helensburgh, Scotland.

She is currently 42 years of age.

The Bay ITV generic photo of cast
Morven starred opposite some impressive names in the crime drama The Bay (Credit: ITV)

What is she famous for?

Morven’s is well known for her heavy-hitting role as Ellen in the thriller The Replacement. Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure starred opposite her as an unhinged stalker who wanted to steal Ellen’s life.

The three-part BBC series aired in 2017, and proved Morven could carry a drama as the lead. In fact, she was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award for the role.

From 2014 to 2017, Morven appeared in Grantchester as Amanda Hopkins. She played Alison Hughes in The A Word, and DS Lisa Armstrong in The Bay.

More recently, Morven portrayed Mairi Macleod in the film The Road Dance, Jean Woodward in the TV drama Floodlights, and Penelope Fittes in Lockwood & Co. She is currently playing Lexie Noble in the ITV thriller Payback.

Does Morven Christie have a husband?

Morven is no longer married. She married film director Scott Graham in 2012, and the couple lived together in North London.

However, the pair separated and endured a painful divorced in 2015. She moved back to Scotland after the difficult split, but insists “he’s still a really good friend”.

Morven then lived in Glasgow with her new partner, Chvrches musician Iain Cook. The pair began dating in December 2017 and lived together in Glasgow.

Actress Morven often posted photos of the pair together. Her Instagram feed was full of photos with the music star, joining him at TV appearances, festival performances and then away from the spotlight enjoying weekends in the countryside.

However, she recently deleted all of her old photos, including those of Iain. Her new Instagram account only shows three pictures. He, in turn, hasn’t posted anything with her since 2019. It’s unclear if she is still with Iain Cook.

One thing we do know, though, is that she won’t date a fellow actor. When asked if she fancied her Grantchester co-star James Norton, she said: “I don’t fancy actors – they don’t do it for me.”

Morven Christie and Christopher Ecclestone in The A Word (Credit: BBC One)
Morven Christie and Christopher Ecclestone in The A Word (Credit: BBC One)

Does she have kids?

Morven is not known to have any children. However, she has portrayed many mothers on screen.

She played a new mum in The Replacement, the mother of an autistic boy in The A Word, and her The Bay character has two teenage kids. In Payback, Morven portrays a mum-of-two who is devastated when her husband is stabbed to death in front of her.

Talking about having children in the past, she’s said: “I’m not really thinking about having kids at the moment, but it scares me quite a bit. The idea that I’d take a year out – how would that work? How would I get back?

“But then you hear how Claire Foy started to film The Crown when her baby was four months old. It scares me how willing women are to jump on each other with judgments, but the truth is you can’t parent like you’re someone else. Everyone has to do it their way. I wish that women were more supportive of each other and of our differing choices. I think that would help.”

We couldn’t agree more, Morven!

Where is she from?

Morven is Scottish. Unlike her character Lisa in The Bay, Morven speaks with a soft Scottish accent. Like many of the cast of The Bay, including Joe Absolom, she needed a dialect coach to perfect the Morecambe accent.

Morven was born in Helensburgh, and grew up in Glasgow and Aviemore. She has previously revealed that she had trouble fitting in at secondary school because her middle class family had moved to a Glasgow council estate.

At 15, she secretly dropped out of school without telling her parents. She eventually studied acting at the Drama Centre London.

Payback promo shot for ITV
Payback stars Morven Christie as Lexie Noble, Peter Mullan as Cal Morris, and Prasanna Puwanarajah as DC Jibran Khan (Credit: ITV)

Why did Morven Christie leave The Bay?

Series two of The Bay ended with Lisa Armstrong seemingly at peace – back on top at work, having kicked her no-good ex to the kerb.

The news that the character had been replaced came as a shock to many, who expected Morven to return as Lisa in series three. However, ITV told us that Morven Christie had made the decision to leave the show.

Morven made no announcement about her reasons, although she did hint at problems behind the scenes. On February 10, after the devastating death of Lisa’s colleague Med, actress Morven posted a cryptic message on her official Instagram page.

Sharing a picture of actor Taheen Modak in character as Med, Morven wrote: “Day one til the end. So honoured to have spent my two seasons on The Bay with this guy, from fresh out of college to smashing it like an old pro. My partner, my pal, this big souled lil king.

“They should never have let you go, but that’s for another day. Now you get to go build your kingdom – and I’m right behind you pal. We did it. @taheenmodak.”

The Bay fans will know that her character was replaced by DS Townsend, played by actress Marsha Thomason.

Read more: Jed Mercurio teams up with Morven Christie for Payback on ITV1 – and here’s 5 reasons to watch thriller


Payback starts on ITV1 on Wednesday, October 04, 2023 at 9pm on ITV1.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor