East Yorkshire’s Marilyse Corrigan On Married At First Sight


East Yorkshire’s Marilyse Corrigan talks to Natalie Li about life after TV show, Married at First Sight, and her continual quest to find the one

Marriage is one of the biggest commitments a couple can ever make, but would you ever get hitched to a stranger on TV? Marilyse Corrigan never dreamed she would. But after watching Married at First Sight Australia on E4 during lockdown she became instantly hooked. She wasn’t the only one – the show drew an average of 1.3m viewers per episode.
“I applied for MAFS during lockdown – it was after one of my friends said, ‘you have to watch MAFs Australia!’. I was on my own, so I thought I’d give it a go,” she recalls. “I remember watching the first episode and finishing the series within five days! In the last episode there was a mention of getting applications in for the UK version. The rest is history,” explains the 39-year-old mum-of-two who lives in a village close to Beverley, East Yorkshire.

Marilyse Corrigan

“The next day one of the producers rang me to speak about appearing on the show. I jumped onto a Zoom call later that day and it went from there. It was an intense process over the course of two months.”
Marilyse found herself under the microscope as cameras followed her every move – from marriage ceremony, honeymoon to living together. “I basically broke up with my ex before lockdown, he went off with someone else and left me heartbroken. When I applied for MAFS
I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’. I always like a challenge, although I did freak out after I applied, but knew I’d regret it if I didn’t do it.”
After the success of the Australian version of the show during the pandemic, the British series followed suit with a sensationalised approach during the numerous dinner parties with other couples and revelations during ‘commitment ceremonies’, where they decide whether to continue or quit the relationship.
From the outset Marilyse embraced the experiment as she locked eyes with her future husband, Franky Spencer. “When I first met Franky, I thought he looked so kind and reassuring – he had these lovely blue eyes and looked so protective although he was a bit older than I had specified!
“The honeymoon felt like we were seriously married. We got on so well and had a fun time in the Peak District. When we moved into the apartments there was the drama from other couples, and it wasn’t hunky-dory like it was on the honeymoon. We couldn’t go anywhere; it was filmed during Covid. We got on well, but Franky likes to be outdoors, so it was hard for him – like being locked in a cage. We were based in Brighton, and it was a hard decision because I was leaving my kids, dogs, and my business. Some days I wanted to go home.”
But sadly, marriage didn’t go together like a horse and carriage with the pair splitting after the show. They remain good friends, staying in regular contact with plans to catch up this summer.
The show wasn’t always rosy and often depicted couples in a negative light. Husband Franky was often portrayed as moody and controlling – something Marilyse is keen to speak up about.
“There is an agenda for every couple before you go on the show, and I know that for a fact. There were points during filming where I rang up the producer and said, ‘this is unfair, what you have done to Franky’. Most of the time we got on well, so we were really shocked at the edit, and it really affected Franky’s mental health. Other cast members like Nikita Jasmine weren’t shown in a good light. They suffered because of the way they were portrayed.”
Life after MAFS has been a whirlwind, admits the bubbly personal trainer, but she doesn’t wish she could turn back time. “I met lovely people, friends for life – cast members like Luke Dawson, Matt Jameson, and Franky. I have zero regrets,” adds Marilyse.
“I live in a small village; it hasn’t gone completely back to normal. But my work as a PT has resumed and I’ve gained more friendships. It was a good experience. However, I refuse to watch any more MAFS, after going on the show and seeing how it pans out – intense and dramatic,” she laughs.
“Life is busy at home – I have a big house, four dogs, a cat, teenage boys, my business – it’s hectic. I have a good social life and I love going to our local town for meals. East Yorkshire is lovely for country walks, and I often head to the Beverley Arms, a great spot for lunch or dinner, or the Westwood in Beverley – a Michelin-starred restaurant. I like my fine dining, so the Wellington Inn in Lund is another favourite.

Marilyse lives close to Beverley, East Yorkshire

“If I go out in Leeds or Manchester, drunk people still approach me especially if I’m with other MAFS cast members. Someone once came over and said, ‘you look just like the girl from MAFS’ and she proceeded to show me a Google image on her phone, and I said, ‘Oh yeah, how funny, I do look like her’!”
Marilyse admits it’s been a tough time recently since her mum was diagnosed with cancer. As we chat, she is sitting in her mum’s Leicestershire home. “My mum is doing ok, I’m looking after her right now and we are waiting anxiously to hear what the hospital can do.”
With support from Franky and Matt Murray, one of the husbands who appeared in a later series of Married of First Sight who she recently had a relationship with, Marilyse is keen to stay on good terms with her exes.
“Matt reached out and has been supportive – he’s been through the same with his mum. I really appreciate it. We won’t be reconnecting as a couple, he’s a lovely guy, but he wasn’t for me. When it comes to ex partners, life is too short to fall out.”
The quest for love and marriage hasn’t stalled for Marilyse. “I would love to get married, in recent weeks I’ve felt the need to settle down. I need someone to help me find ‘the one’! I can’t seem to find anyone on my own. All the decent ones are married or gay,” she smiles.
Looking ahead, Marilyse, who completed the London Marathon only 11 months after donating her kidney to an ex-partner, is not shy of a challenge. What’s next, I wonder? “I really want to grow as a fitness coach – I love my job and helping women feel better about themselves. I always like to have a challenge in the bag,” she pauses, “I’d love to appear on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! – but I don’t like creepy-crawlies, so that could be interesting!”

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