Mark Wright says winning over wife Michelle Keegan was harder than cracking America

Mark Wright has opened up about the beginning of his and Michelle Keegan's romance, revealing he "chased" the actress for a whole year before eventually winning her over.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star, 36, spoke candidly about his relationship with wife Michelle, 35, while appearing on the Private Parts podcast, hosted by former Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing.

Mark, who recently completed the London Marathon with his brother Joshua, dad Mark and mum Carol, revealed he and former Coronation Street star Michelle kept "bumping into" each other for around a year at various different events, before eventually heading on their first date.

The celebrity couple first encountered each other backstage at The X Factor, before then bumping into each other three days later at a Manchester United charity dinner, where they "got on really well".

Not long after their first two encounters, they both attended the National Television Awards and once again crossed paths.

Mark then said it wasn't until about a year after these encounters that he finally asked Michelle out. He told host Jamie: "Then about literally a year later of us bumping into each other I finally sort of asked her out and it went from there."

Jamie, 34, began to tease him, prompting Mark to jokingly admit he "chased" Michelle as she kept giving him "the elbow".

The ex-TOWIE star hilariously told Jamie: "I chased her for a while. Basically she gave me the elbow for about a year and then finally I got my way, after a lot of work."

He then joked: "I don't know who was harder to crack actually, her or my American boss. Probably her, and that's saying something."

Mark and Michelle went public with their romance in 2013 at the Inside Soap Awards, where they made their red carpet debut together.

Just nine months later, while on holiday in Dubai, Mark asked the soap star to marry him and she accepted. They went on to tie the knot in 2015 in a star-studded ceremony at St Mary's Church in Bury St Edmunds.

Mark and Michelle have spent long periods apart throughout their marriage, with both their careers taking them out of the UK. Michelle has had to jet off to places such as Australia and South Africa for filming, while Mark previously hosted TV show Extra in the US.

In recent months, the couple have been focusing on completing work on their sprawling Essex mansion as well as a holiday home in Spain.


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