Michelle Keegan: I get frustrated about the double standards in our relationship

Kimberley Bond
Michelle Keegan has vented her frustration that her husband Mark Wright does not face the same questions about when he will have a baby: Getty Images

Michelle Keegan has hit back at those who have criticised her marriage to television personality Mark Wright.

Keegan, who married former TOWIE star Wright in 2015 after three years of dating, said she feels “frustrated” when she’s quizzed about settling down and having a baby in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan UK.

“A few years ago it didn’t bother me and I answered the question, but now I think, ‘I don’t need to answer that because nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors,’” she explained.

“I remember when I finished Our Girl people were like, ‘Is it because you’re going off to have a baby?’ I know for a fact if Mark finished a job, nobody would ask him if he was going to have a baby. It’s not fair. It does make me feel frustrated.”

Michelle Keegan has vented about the double-standards (PA)

Keegan and Wright’s happy marriage has been a source of fascination for tabloids and women’s mags, who have regularly speculated on how they’ve coped with their long-distance relationship.

Keegan, 33, spent a hefty chunk of the time travelling for BBC drama Our Girl, where she played ballsy Georgie Lane before quitting earlier this year. Meanwhile, Wright, also 33, split his time between the US and the UK as he presented American entertainment news programme EXTRA.

While the press intrusion initially irked the star, Keegan says she no longer lets it get under her skin.

“If you go away for work it’s seen as a negative and not a positive,” she explained. “I just don’t understand that and find it hard.

“You’re trying to carve yourself a career and people say you shouldn’t be doing it because it impacts your marriage. It’s ridiculous. That can be quite difficult because it’s hard enough being away from home as it is without negative stories.

Michelle spoke candidly to Cosmopolitan magazine (Cosmopolitan UK/Hearst)

“A few years ago it would have bothered me more than it does now.”

Keegan has since reined in what she chooses to share on her own social media.

“What I’ve had to do since I got married is pull back and keep my private life for me, and I feel a lot happier and [more] settled since I made that choice,” she said. “At the beginning people didn’t understand it and were like, ‘You talked about it all the time four years ago.’

“But I feel like I have to hold things back for me because I need to regain control. A few years ago I felt like I’d lost that control.”

Keegan’s confidence in her own skin has come as a result of growing up in the public eye, having launched her career on ITV’s Coronation Street as Tina McIntyre in 2008, aged just 21.

“It was really daunting,” she said. “It happens very quickly on a soap because you’re in people’s living rooms five times a week, so people start believing they know you. It was scary, I was still a young girl and I was growing up in the public eye.

“Everyone had their own opinions – how you act, how your hair looks, what you’re wearing, how you physically look... Growing up in that was very hard and I let a lot of negative comments get to me. There’s an inner confidence now. I don’t let negative comments affect me the way that they did 12 years ago.”

She added she now regretted doing photoshoots for lads mags when she was younger.

Keegan has since starred in Sky One's Brassic (Sky UK Limited)

“I remember feeling very shy because I was really young. But I thought it came as part of being on TV. Now that I’m older, I realise that it is OK to say no to something that you don’t feel 100% happy with.

“It’s okay to say no and go with your instinct. I always wanted to please people but I think if something doesn’t feel right, just say no. I go with my instinct a lot now.”

For now, Keegan is just enjoying spending time in lockdown with Wright, walking her dogs and riding bikes.

The downtime has also allowed the star to consider pursuing writing her own comedies and dramas.

“I’m writing two things,” she said.

“I’ve never had the time to sit down, write and research and I’m really enjoying the process. It’s a comedy drama and a mini-series drama. I had the idea for one of them a few years ago and this time has helped me get my ideas down on paper.

“I’ve had meetings with production companies on Zoom. Hopefully it’s something we can get off the ground. It’s exciting.”

Read the full interview in the August issue of Cosmopolitan – on-sale 2nd July 2020

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