She’s had a hec­tic year, but Mich has new plans for her mar­riage – and she’s never been hap­pier

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Hats off to Michelle Kee­gan and Mark Wright. Longdis­tance re­la­tion­ships are of­ten tough and with Mark jet­ting all around the world (par­ty­ing in Mal­lorca, work­ing in LA) it can’t be easy. But while the pair have been try­ing hard to see each other as much as pos­si­ble, they’ve had a pretty drama-filled month. Ac­cord­ing to our source, the cou­ple have hit rocky ground and af­ter a se­ries of rows over the last few weeks, Michelle’s adamant she’s not in­ter­ested in any more drama.

‘Michelle and Mark have been through a bap­tism of fire when it comes to long dis­tance re­la­tion­ships,’ a friend tells Look.

‘They’re the first to ad­mit that it hasn’t been easy, but Michelle’s stopped read­ing in­ter­net com­ments now. She knows that if there was any­thing she needed to be aware of, her mates would tell her. She’s just turned 30 and her group of school pals are as close as ever – they look out for Michelle and have told her to just en­joy life and ig­nore the haters.’

It comes af­ter a se­ries of squab­bles that have de­vel­oped over the last fort­night, in­clud­ing some ex­plo­sive al­le­ga­tions made by Mark’s ex-fi­ancée Lauren Goodger. As Look re­ported at the time, Lauren ac­cused 30-year-old Mark of hav­ing her kicked out of one of her favourite Es­sex restau­rants, Sheesh, be­fore he ar­rived. It’s said to have grated on Michelle, but the sit­u­a­tion was made worse af­ter Mark was pic­tured par­ty­ing top­less (even his un­cle com­mented on his In­sta­gram pic­ture to say: ‘Hope Michelle doesn’t see this’).

Days later, a num­ber of al­le­ga­tions emerged about Michelle’s bonds with fel­low Our Girl co-stars. Not only has the ac­tress come un­der fire for her close friend­ship with Luke Pasqualino (who plays Michelle’s love in­ter­est in the BBC drama), she was also ac­cused of cosy­ing up to co-star Ben Aldridge. Michelle was pho­tographed hug­ging the 27-year-old last week as they filmed in South Africa.

‘Both of them get plenty of at­ten­tion from the op­po­site sex,’ says our wellplaced source. ‘It doesn’t help that Mark has a bit of a lad­dish rep­u­ta­tion from his younger days. But he’s never given Michelle any rea­son to worry and as time goes by she feels he’s proved him­self.

‘OK, so Michelle’s been papped with her arms around a co-star’s shoul­der. So what? What you haven’t seen is all the pic­tures on her phone from when Mark came to stay and met ev­ery­one on set.

‘They’re de­ter­mined to make the most of these beau­ti­ful places they get to visit. They stay in gor­geous ho­tels and eat the best food. These are the perks of the job when you work as hard as they do. And both of them want to be to­gether to en­joy it.’

In the past, Michelle and Mark have of­ten had to de­fend their re­la­tion­ship. Ear­lier this year, Michelle spoke out about al­le­ga­tions that her mar­riage was in jeop­ardy.

‘We have sep­a­rate ca­reers. Why is it a bad thing?’ asked Michelle. ‘I’m just a nor­mal girl. I’m just do­ing my job. I’m mar­ried, but I don’t have to sit at home. That’s the frus­trat­ing thing… I’ve got to go away for work. He’ll come visit me and it will be fine.’

But while Mark has been reg­u­larly vis­it­ing Michelle, it seems he won’t be need­ing to any­time soon as the ac­tress is said to be leav­ing South Africa this week for a fort­night’s break – and as film­ing for Our Girl comes to an end, Michelle might be set­ting her sights even higher.

‘With Mark over in LA, Michelle can’t wait un­til the break in film­ing so she can head out to Cal­i­for­nia and en­joy the A-list life with him,’ re­veals a close pal.

‘They’re con­sid­er­ing it a dress re­hearsal for next year, when both of them are plan­ning to head out to­gether and make a real go of it. Michelle is so in de­mand now and her con­fi­dence is rock­et­ing. She knows it would be a big leap to try to crack Hol­ly­wood, but the time is now and if she didn’t go for it she’d never for­give her­self.

‘Mark is def­i­nitely up for it. He’s hugely am­bi­tious – both for him­self and Michelle. He reck­ons they could be a real dream team there. They have the looks, the am­bi­tion and the tal­ent.’ Well, we can’t dis­agree there!

She’s so in de­mand and her con­fi­dence is rock­et­ing

Could Hol­ly­wood be next for the cou­ple?

With dishy co-star Luke Pasqualino

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