SPENDING every waking minute with your partner in lockdown will put even the most perfect relationship to the test.
Just ask Michelle Keegan, who says husband Mark Wright is driving her up the wall . . . by failing to pick up his dirty pants. Tsk, tsk.
Quite rightly, Michelle refuses to tidy up after him.
The former Coronation Street star said: “When he leaves his pants on the floor, I won’t move them.
“They can stay there for a few days at a time — until he works out that they need to be picked up.”
The couple, who live in Mark’s native Essex, have got used to spending time apart, with Michelle filming abroad for BBC1 drama Our Girl and Mark pursuing a presenting career Stateside.
So surely all this unexpected time together is exactly what they needed?
Well, be careful what you wish for. Michelle, who has just finished her fourth and final season of Our Girl, admits she and Mark have been getting on each other’s wick.
She said: “I love the job but the decision to walk away (from Our Girl) was made because I wanted to spend more time at home.
“Being away for long periods is tough but it’s part of the jobs we do. We knew what it was all about when we first got together.
“But it doesn’t take long when we get back together that we start getting on each other’s nerves again.”
However, the couple have discovered an unlikely shared passion during this period of prolonged isolation — jigsaw puzzles.
Michelle, who is waiting for the all-clear to begin filming for the third series of her Sky One comedy Brassic, revealed: “We have been doing jigsaws non-stop. I’m a big fan of those now.”
The couple celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary this month. And they put aside the issue of Mark’s discarded underwear to enjoy a romantic dinner.
On Friday night they tucked into lobster, prawns and a sushi platter they had delivered to their home.
Hopefully Mark offered to do the washing-up.
Sabrina in racism fury
SABRINA Washington has told how she experienced racism as the darkest-skinned member of girlband Mis-Teeq.
With bandmates Alesha Dixon and Su-Elise Nash, Sabrina had hits with All I Want and Scandalous.
But she told us: “The first time I experienced racism was in the music industry. It’s not talked about.
“I was told I wasn’t aesthetically desirable because I was a darker-skinned black woman.
"I was good enough to sing but was told I’d never go on the front of a magazine, as ‘black women don’t sell them’.”
The Londoner also said she was heartbroken after being advised to turn down Strictly while in the band, which Alesha later won.
Sabrina is penning solo music and hopes she can reconnect with her bandmates to discuss their experiences.
She said: “There hasn’t been another all-black girlband in the UK since Mis-Teeq with the same success. It was almost 20 years ago. That’s a shame.
“I haven’t had a conversation with the girls about what happened. It would be good for us to speak about it, as we all had our own individual journeys.”
Jade: USA is hit and Mix
JADE Thirlwall admits she feels frustrated that Little Mix have yet to properly crack the States.
Despite her band having some limited success across the Pond, she said: “In America, we’ve done so much hard work – back and forwards, months at a time, doing the rounds.
“We’ve got the fan base but it just doesn’t click. It’s a really bitter pill to swallow that we’re not humongous over there.”
Jade added: “I don’t know what makes you connect with American radio but you need that one song and then it explodes.
“Until you get that, it’s not going to happen.”
Mel hate mail hell
MEL B has revealed the vile racism she suffered at the height of her Spice Girls fame.
After buying a listed building in Marlow, Bucks, she was bombarded with racist hate mail.
Mel said: “The fact I bought it disturbed the whole village. I got not just hate mail but racist hate mail, which was shocking to me.
“It said, ‘Get out of this village, you don’t belong, you can’t buy something like this . . .’
“It disturbed me but I still threw some great parties there – really loud to disturb the village.”
She added: “I think there’s been a massive change when it comes to race and culture because we are a little bit more educated. Some countries are still way behind.”
Nadiya's job snub
NADIYA Hussain was turned down as a hand model as a teenager because of her race.
The Bake Off winner wrote on Instagram: “There was an ad for a hand model to model jewellery. No previous experience required. I had hands, I needed the money, so figured it was a no-brainer.”
At the audition, the rep told her: “Black hands don’t sell jewellery.”
“I was so embarrassed,” Nadiya wrote. “I never thought about my hands until the colour of the skin that covered them stopped me getting a job.”
She added: “I use my hands with pride . . . to grace cookbooks and cookery shows, to hold my children’s hands and stroke their little faces.”
Ice ups its game
AFTER some iffy “celebs” in recent years, Dancing On Ice could be back with a bang in 2021.
The ITV show has signed a new talent booker, Laurence Hill, to challenge Beeb rival Strictly.
A telly source said: “Bosses are keen to land some A-list names.
"They’ve got stiff competition alongside I’m A Celeb and Strictly and really want to raise their game.
“Expect some surprising, impressive names to take part. Unlike previous casts, googling the talent won’t be required.”
Jodie's 'pool rule
JODIE Comer is a pro at doing accents but there is one she will never do in her starring role on Killing Eve – her native Scouse.
The Liverpool-born actress, who plays assassin Villanelle in the hit BBC drama, reckons it would be too “gimmicky”.
Jodie said: “I’m afraid Scouse will not be making an appearance on Killing Eve. In season two, it got written into one episode.
“I asked them to take it out because it seemed too gimmicky for me.
“I was like, ‘We know she does accents but Scouse feels too much like a wink to the camera’.”
Norton Zooms forward
JAMES Norton has landed his next big role . . . via Zoom.
The McMafia actor will star in a new thriller by writer Declan Lawn, who penned The Salisbury Poisonings, which starts tonight on BBC1 .
Declan said: “It’s based around the idea of coercive control.”
Robbie app to slash your bills
ROBBIE Williams seems intent on giving The Sun’s own Mr Money a run for his, er, cash.
The singer, who is worth £240million, is launching an app, dubbed House Nanny, designed to cut users' household bills.
Rob said: “I had this idea completely out of my wheelhouse.
“Would you like to cut your bills by 15 or 20 per cent? I could do that for you.
“I left school with no GCSEs – the highest grade I got was a D – yet I’ve got serious people taking my idea very seriously.”
Lockdown has fired his passion for new creative projects.
Robbie said: “You find a new reason for doing things, a new place to go. It’s vital you do.”
We doubt Rob will need to use his own app, mind.
Life as a stay-at-home mum is testing the patience of actress Helen George.
She says: “I am so lucky to have a daughter but she’s two and a half.
"I’m jealous of friends who are single, footloose and fancy-free”
Gemma: I'd never do diet pill ads
GEMMA Atkinson has slammed the slimming pills, waist trainers and diet teas regularly plugged by celebs online, revealing she refused to promote them on Instagram.
Stars, including Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Vicky Pattison and Ferne McCann are among those to have posted sexy pics to social media endorsing various brands.
Gemma, who has a baby girl with her Strictly Come Dancing beau Gorka Marquez, lost three stone after having daughter Mia using healthy eating and exercise.
The actress revealed: “I’ve been asked to post slimming pills and waist trainers and that for me is a complete no.
" I don’t believe in it.
“I don’t think taking a slimming tablet or drinking a specific tea is going to do anything healthwise.
“It might make you shed a few pounds for a week but for all the wrong reasons.”
Gemma added that she would ban little Mia from becoming an Instagram model when she is older.
Speaking on the Be Cooler podcast, Gemma said: “If Mia turned around to me and said, ‘After school, I want to be an Instagram model’, I’d say, ‘I’m sorry love, that’s not going to work because you need to do something else’.”
- LAURA Whitmore keeps late nights at bay with vegan Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork gel eye masks. The telly host, a regular on the pre-lockdown party scene, looked fresh splashing about in a padding pool in her garden yesterday.
- Peter Andre is encouraging families to take part in the Joy Of Moving programme’s Pause To Play series. The dad of four said: “It’s got loads of fun games and activities for a nice, handy break from home-schooling for parents.”
- Come Dine With Me returns to C4 tomorrow featuring former Sun showbiz reporter Benjy Potter, who tries to impress with his theatrics as well as his cooking.
- Radio DJ Lisa Snowdon is living her best lockdown with a Body Ballancer lymphatic massage therapy system on loan to shift toxins in the comfort of her own home.
- The video for Drigyy’s track Lust, with him stopped and searched by police, is based on real life. He said: “I’d done nothing wrong and wasn’t released until the next afternoon.”
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