The beautiful Beverley bride who seems to have already won the heart of the stranger she married on a reality TV show has the kind of past that could be a gripping TV prime time drama in its own right.
Marilyse Corrigan, the fitness-mad personal trainer from Beverley who wed stranger Franky Spencer on E4’s Married at First Sight, has an extraordinary rags to riches background that TV screenwriters could only dream to conjure up.
The 37-year-old mother-of-two was born to Jimmy Corrigan – the flamboyant and fabulously wealthy owner of the very famous Batley Variety Club, which hosted the likes of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey in its hey-day.
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Her mother, Elaine, was the glamorous blonde daughter of a Surrey millionaire who wanted for nothing growing up and then made her own name through modelling.
When they fell in love, Jimmy was fabulously rich and wealthy. But sadly, it was not to last.
Home for Jimmy had been a stately 27-room house at one point, but very early on into their marriage it all disappeared as the spiralling costs of the showbiz acts forced the variety club business to fold.
The couple’s children, Annalyse, Sheralyn, Marilyse, and brother Wesley, never knew the kind of prosperity that their parents were accustomed to.
After the collapse of their parents’ marriage, the siblings lived with their mother in a four-bed rented house in Holderness, East Yorkshire, with second hand cars, with Elaine saying in an interview in the Daily Mail that she never thought she’d ever have her luxury lifestyle again.
Except, on one Saturday evening, while watching television, Marilyse, then just 15, was ticking off the National Lottery numbers while watching the televised draw, and to everyone’s shock, the family matched all six numbers.
They’d won a £2.5m scoop of an £8m jackpot.
Elaine, then 50, told the Mail: “My daughter Marilyse had the numbers. She checked it on the television and said ‘My God, we have won the Lottery’.
“The reaction was, as you can imagine, I didn’t believe her! I double checked the numbers and then said ‘Yes!’.
“We didn’t go crackers. We have been out and bought a bottle of champagne.”
She said they celebrated on Bank Holiday Monday with a walk around Bridlington in the sunshine, where relatives of the Corrigan family own amusement arcades.
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She added: “A holiday will come in time. We are being calm about it.”
Having seen the family’s fortune diminish once before, she said she was looking forward to living a nicer life without debts.
“I have struggled and become used to living hand-to-mouth. Now I want to return to a decent home with land, horses, nice cars, holidays – and no debts.
“There is no way I’m going to spend, spend, spend because I now know how easy it is for wealth to disappear.”
She notified her ex-husband, who was living in York and by then poorly with cancer, and pledged to help him too.
“He tried so hard to give us what we wanted. The money was chicken-feed and we had quite a rough time. I was a housewife bringing up the children.
“Financially, it was the lowest point of my life. The strain was too much on our marriage.
“James always wanted to be a millionaire again. He always believed he could make it big again.
“I always used to tell him that once it’s lost, it is lost forever.
“That is what makes my win so ironic. It proves there are second chances and that’s what makes this so special.”
She said: “This is what James always wanted for us.”
However, she said her experience of having money meant she knew not to let it turn her head.
In the newspaper interview, she said: “Unlike other lottery winners, I know what it feels like to be both rich and poor and that insight will help me to be careful, not reckless.”
“I think when you’ve known wealth before, that amount does not come as such a shock.
“I’m also used to money, so it won’t change me. I already know what it feels like.”
Elaine recalled: “I had a wonderful childhood and never wanted for anything. I was not a spoiled brat but my parents were very rich.
“We took money for granted. I never dreamed as a child because everything I ever wanted was available.”
But she pledged to lavish her winnings on her four children, adding: “Maybe now, I can give them a taste of what my parents gave me.
“That is what I’ve dreamed about – giving my kids a decent home, decent clothes and a secure future, which they now have.”
Marilyse is now a successful personal trainer in her own right and has hopefully met her match in fellow PT Franky, who her family and friends looked thrilled with as her walked down the aisle.
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Her mum was one of the guests at the small, intimate wedding, and was very glamorous in her cream mother-of-the-bride outfit.
Viewers will have to wait and see what the future holds for Marilyse in forthcoming episodes, but if her colourful upbringing is anything to go by, it promises to be anything but dull.
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